How Technology Can Help (and Hurt) Your Sleep

Last year, I began wearing a fitness tracker to bed regularly. I
was curious about my sleep data and charts. Were they
accurate? At what time did I go into deep sleep cycles? After analyzing the
results, I noticed a pattern that helped me change a habit and so that I could
sleep up to two more hours per week than before. I’ll explain how in a moment.

I should mention that I work remotely and have
for several years. That means I don’t have a regular morning commute, and I
have some flexibility in my schedule. (I do have dogs to walk every morning, so
it’s not like I can stay in bed all day, however.)
If you’re unexpectedly working from home now during the novel coronavirus
pandemic, you may find that your natural sleep cycle is disturbed both by the new shelter-in-disruptions to your usual and by stress. You may, however, also find that you’re in a position to have more flexibility in your schedule
and thus focus on making adjustments to your sleep. 

Sleep and technology don’t have the best
reputation. Blue light from screens mimics
natural sunlight and can prevent us from falling asleep. It does this by
tricking the body into suppressing melatonin production. When the sun is up, we
don’t produce melatonin, which is one of several triggers that helps
put us to sleep. Some people are more strongly influenced by blue light at
night than others.

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