This is the second article in our sleep, rest and recovery series! Are you a habitual phone user in bed? Cant stay away from scrolling through your phone late into the night? This article is for you!
Have you not been sleeping well lately? Tossing and turning throughout the night on a regular basis?
Let me set the scene, it is 10:45pm, you are in bed, lights are off, and you are scrolling through Instagram or Facebook on your phone. Sound familiar?
This is a common scene in this day and age where technology is at our fingertips and so is the information that lies within them, meaning it is all too easy and accessible to be online and connected at all times.
Why is this a problem?
Most devices, whether it be an I-pad or Television, emit what is known as “blue light”. This blue light is what causes us issues. It throws our circadian rhythm off completely … sometimes up to six time zones off!
What the blue light does, is trick your brain and body into staying awake for longer and not wanting to rest so the process of falling asleep is delayed and delayed because the body delays releasing melatonin which is required to kick start the sleeping process . This results in not allowing you to get the required number of hours of quality sleep (7-9), in turn not allowing your body to rest and fully recover which it will need to after training – affecting your performance the next day, and the next day, adding up night after night, day after day in a continual process increasing a decline in performance from what you could be achieving!
A lack of good quality sleep affects how our brains develop and also how our bodies grow and adapt to training. All the extra effort put in the gym and classes field be eradicated without the proper rest and sleep.
How can we prevent this?
The simplest and most effective way is by limiting phone / screen use at least 2 hours before going to sleep. However, I know this isn’t always going to work.
There are now settings on phones and devices called “night shift” and also apps that can change the colour tint of screens to a ‘warmer’ yellow / orange colour limiting the blue light, although, this is not full proof.
However, if you can’t bare the thought of not being on your phone, there is the option of buying ‘blue light blocking glasses’ so you can continue scrolling through Instagram as much as you want.