Did your parents ever used to tell you not to watch TV or stare at your phone screen right before bed? Well it turns out they weren't just being mean and 'ruining your life', annoyingly it turns out they were absolutely right! Dr. Dan Siegel from the UCLA School of Medicine explains why fiddling with technology can be extremely unhealthy just before bed.
"Essentially by staring into our screens just before bed, we are actually soaking up a 'stream of photons' that help us to stay awake", that's nice and healthy.
Anyway, when it's time for sleep, our brains naturally secrete melatonin, which allows us to switch off, but consuming all this digital information prevents us from doing so. So that's probably why you've found yourself tossing and turning for an hour or so before you can actually switch off at night.
But the damage, unfortunately, isn't just tiredness the following day caused by a later bedtime. By staying awake, we don't allow those precious neurons of ours to rest, and we also prevent the supportive 'glial' cells from cleaning up the toxins that our neurons have emitted throughout the day.
And if you weren't convinced enough, a study recently conducted by the University of California backs up what Dr Siegel was saying. The research found that the more time you spend perusing your phone before bed, the worse your quality of sleep will be. Plus, it'll affect how long it takes you to drop off in the first place.
Our advice is; have a little play on your phone, sure, but put it down at least 30 minutes before you get into bed. That way you're not melting your brain away! I don't even care if you've got an early release of the iPhone X and you can't put it down, it's not a good enough reason to demolish your mind palace.
Blog by Liam Ryan,
- King of the Mind Palace.