The Key To Better Sleep

We all know by now that you shouldn’t look at your phone right before bed, but most of us don’t know why. In our minds, it has something to vaguely do with keeping us up or not letting us get the most restful sleep, but that isn’t the whole picture. Business Insider recently had Dr. Dan Siegel sit down and explain the negative effects that screens have on our health, especially right before bed.

Dr. Siegel is a clinical psychiatrist, and as such he studies not only the brain but the effects that brain stimuli can have on the rest of the body. He says that assaulting the eyes (and thus the brain) with photons from the screens tricks the brain into thinking that it’s time to be awake, and it will stop preparing for sleep (by secreting melatonin).

This is important because melatonin allows you to sink into a deep sleep, which in turn gets your neurons in your brain to rest, and your glial cells to basically act as the janitors of your brain and clean it up. If you don’t get enough sleep, your neurons can’t take a break and your brain doesn’t get cleaned, which can allow toxins to build up. Toxins obviously aren’t good, but in the brain they can effect things like memory, attention span, etc…

The bottom line is that sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle, and an important part of that is allowing your brain to prepare for sleep. Turn off your screens (TVs, phones, tablets) about a half hour before you go to bed, and try reading instead. We guarantee your brain will shut down more smoothly and you’ll be surprised at how easily you pass out!