The electronics in your bedroom are likely to blame -- but perhaps not in the way you might think.
You already know about the “Blue Light” from your TV or smartphone screens, which is one of the biggest sleep disruptors -- but the power indicators on your electronics have the same negative impact. The light electronics emit can throw off your body's circadian rhythm.
Read on to learn more, and to find out what you can do to stop these tiny lights from wreaking havoc on your sleep cycle.
Beyond Smartphone Screens: Impact of Power Indicators
You’ve read countless articles about how spending time on your computer or smartphone right before bedtime can disrupt your rest.
They emit what’s known as “Blue Light,” which can make it harder for you to fall and stay asleep.
But what you might not know is that even if you’ve broken up with your “falling asleep watching Netflix on my laptop” habit, your computer can still mess with your sleep cycle.
The Problem With Power Indicator Lights
Even when turned off, computers and other electronic devices such as fans, power strips, air conditioning, and more can emit “blue light.”
The light often comes from the power indicators, which can be green, red, or orange.
But don’t be fooled, these indicators light are all emitting “blue light”.
That’s right: as long as your computer, phone, or whatever else that comes with a glowing “on” switch is still inside your bedroom, it poses a threat to your sleep.
This is a serious problem, as melatonin is the hormone that helps to relax you and lets your body know it’s time to fall asleep.
Additionally, these glows of light (especially if your power indicator flickers on and off during the night) are much more likely to cause you to wake up.
The reason is due to your body’s failure to regulate proper melatonin emissions. Your body never got into a good “sleeping state” in the first place, so any disturbance, even these seemingly small ones, will have a big impact.
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What Happens If You Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night?
The same is true if you frequently get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, or to take care of a new baby.
Even if you wear a sleep mask, you’ll of course have to take it off every time you get up and walk around.
This exposes you to these tiny lights.
Essentially, the light from the power indicators of your electronics hits your eyes and messes with your hormone production every time you wake up -- making it that much harder to fall back asleep.
Interestingly, light from power indicators has an especially high impact on the sleep quality of teens and young adults. So, if you’re concerned poor sleep might be to blame for slipping grades and missed classes, these tiny sources of light could be to blame.
How To Eliminate Power Indicator Light Pollution
So, what can you do to stop these tiny light sources from sabotaging your sleep?
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take, and none will require a huge lifestyle change.
Remember that, while things like blackout curtains are an awesome solution for getting rid of light from the sun or bright man-made lights on your street, they won’t help you with your indoor electronics.
The best solutions?
Unplug - Completely
Resist the urge to put your electronics in “sleep” mode. Instead, shut them off completely. Unplug what you can -- you’ll be asleep, so you won’t really need to access all your electronics. If you need to charge things overnight, do so in another room.
One More Use For Duct Tape
You can also put small strips of duct tape over the power indicators of your electronics. However, be aware that some tape will likely leave behind a sticky, filmy residue that could be difficult to remove. A better and easier solution is to use blackout stickers, which come in different sizes and are removable and reusable.
You thought only electronics emit "blue light"? Read this if you want to sleep better!
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