nighttime screens

5 Ways Electronic Devices Hurt Your Sleep

Devices Are Keeping You Awake

While you may feel the itch to constantly be on your phone, tablet, or laptop, you may want to consider putting it away in the evenings. Research has shown that stimulation from electronic devices negatively affect healthy sleep.

1. Reduces Melatonin

Melatonin is the hormone your body naturally releases to stimulate sleepiness and the circadian rhythm. The “blue” light that electronic screens project significantly reduce melatonin production. Less melatonin makes it harder to fall and stay asleep.

2. Stimulates Your Brain

Engaging in a few rounds of Candy Crush or going through the rundown on Facebook can prove to be costly to your sleep quality. Keeping your mind occupied can trick it into thinking that its supposed to be awake and active.

3. May Cause Stress or Nightmares

While reading through Facebook you may find yourself immersed in the details of a touching story or violent event. Experiencing these emotions so close to falling asleep can cause you to either 1) not fall asleep due to being “worked” up, or 2) have nightmares throughout the night.

4. Wake You Up At Night

The majority of people who own mobile devices will have them charging within arms reach while they sleep. This is great for…well…nothing really. Yeah, sure you can turn off your alarm in the morning without getting out of bed. However, any text, email, and any other alerts are more likely wake you up with your device being so close to you.

5. Reduce Time to Sleep

Last, but not least. The more time you spend scrolling through Twitter, or playing one more round of Words With Friends, the less time you will have to sleep. We’re all guilty or getting caught up in social media-land. You get in bed at 11, next thing you know you’re commenting on someone’s post at 12:47am…

What Should You Do?

The easiest solution would be to rid yourself of any devices…ha ha, funny, I know. In reality, you should start eliminating screen time at least half an hour before bedtime. Doing so will help the melatonin buildup in your system, and your body will begin the process of “sleep.” Also, you should silence your alerts at night so no notifications can wake you up.

Your bedroom should be your relaxation palace. Its best not to have electronic devices such as TV’s, tablets, or computers in your bedroom. Maybe you can use a music device that can play soothing sounds such as rain or rushing water.

About the Author


Jason Smith is recognized by the board of polysomnographic technologists (BRPT) as a registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT) since 2003. He is also Director of Clinical Operations for 6 multi-state sleep diagnostic facilities including the nation’s largest 20 bed sleep disorder testing center. Jason has also been a Co-Author with two research publications featured in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.