·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Health & Medicine

Technology – How It Can Help (and Hurt) Your Sleep

— September 10, 2021

Technology has the power to both keep us awake and put us to sleep. Ultimately, it’s up to us to use it in a way that will be beneficial.

Technology, as we very well know, is all around us. And while it has certainly made our lives much more comfortable, it has also caused some unexpected issues. Certainly, one major issue is that we’re having more trouble falling asleep and getting proper rest. 

This has started to impact everything from our moods to our overall health and wellbeing. And while technology is not the only culprit, it has played an important role in hurting our sleep. Let’s take a look at how tech contributes to sleep deprivation and how we can utilize it to sleep better.

How is Technology Hurting Our Sleep? 

With so much tech around us at all times, is it a wonder we are unable to sleep? The mere knowledge that there is a movie, a book, or a song readily available within arm’s reach can keep you up at night, especially if you don’t fall asleep as soon as you go to bed. 

We’re all used to scrolling on our phones all day long. But if we don’t stop on time, the blue light that is emitted by screens will keep us awake. When exposed to it, our brain believes it’s daytime and time to focus. So, it doesn’t start producing melatonin, the hormone that puts us to sleep on time. 

The amount of information we’re exposed to via tech can also keep us awake at night. We’re unable to relax properly when we go to bed, as our mind is still processing everything we’ve seen and heard during the day. 

Technology also means that there’s never proper quiet or proper darkness around us. There is always light or sound filtering into our brain as we’re trying to get some rest. 

How is Technology Helping Us Sleep Better?

On the other hand, technology can help us sleep better, but only if we use it the right way. 

First, it can provide the darkness we need. There are automatic curtains that will block out all light but that will also start to let light in when it’s time to get up, making for a more natural wake-up call. 

It can also wake you up gently. There are various alarm clocks that use the sounds of nature and simulate natural light in the mornings. Sound machines are also quite popular. You can find a sound that suits you perfectly, from music to ocean waves and everything in between. 

Sleep stories and specific sleep-inducing playlists are also widely available. You can find them on networks like Spotify and Youtube or through apps such as Calm. 

Mattresses, pillows, and duvets that have been enhanced with some type of tech are also there to help regulate your body temperature. Typically, they are also adjustable to your sleep style and sleep needs.

Woman sleeping in bed with all brown linens; image by Gregory Pappas, via
Image by Gregory Pappas, via

Last but not least, there’s the sleep monitor. Your smartwatch can track the quality of your sleep and help you make sense of this data. There are more precise sleep monitors on the market, too, which you can use to determine what your sleeping patterns are. You can then use that knowledge to adjust your bedtimes, wake-up calls. Moreover, you can even consider changes to your mattress or the position of your bed based on sleep monitor data. 

Of course, all of this tech is not necessary for a pleasant sleep, and you can do without it. However, if you are a tech fanatic and want to use its powers for good, the options are there. 

A Middle Ground 

There are many things you can do to fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. And while some of them are tech-based, you don’t have to use a technological solution if you prefer to doze off the old-fashioned way. 

What’s important is for you to realize how your use of tech might be helping your sleep and how it might be hindering it. Once you’ve pinpointed that, you will be able to come up with your own solutions and finally get a good night’s rest. 

Final Thoughts 

Technology has the power to both keep us awake and put us to sleep. Ultimately, it’s up to us to use it in a way that will be beneficial. Make sure you consider your relationship with your tech carefully and wisely.

Join the conversation!