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How Blue Light From Screens Affects Your Sleep

It’s understandable, many of us have to look at multiple screens on an everyday basis

like computers, cell phones, tabs or television.

But did you know that this is wreaking havoc on our health, brains, our bodies, and personal

relationships?

In a 2017 survey, 88 percent of the U.S. respondents said they use a computer.

Smartphones and tablets followed in second and third place, used by 75 and 48 percent

of the respondents respectively.

The average adult consumes five times more information every day than their counterpart

50 years ago.

Further, they can spend as much as 12 hours a day in front of TVs, cell phones and computers

combined!

Apart from the obvious downsides like being inactive, electronics can cause you to gain

weight and in today’s article, we will tell you how this happens.

From distracting you, keeping you inside, promoting mindless snacking to interrupting

your sleep cycle and many more, keep watching till the end to find out more!

Interrupts Your Sleep:

Your body produces a hormone called melatonin which is triggered

by darkness.

It makes people drowsy and helps them sleep better.

This is why it’s crucial for weight loss to have all electronic devices out of reach when

you’re ready for a night of restful slumber, because electronics can interrupt your sleep.

If you want this hormone to do its job effectively, try putting the phone down an hour or two

before bed.

In fact, a study found that students with access to one electronic device were nearly

one and a half times as likely to be overweight compared to those with none.

Emits Blue Light:

Electronic devices emit blue light, which is problematic before bed

time because it disrupts melatonin production.

Researchers conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue

light to the exposure of green light.

They discovered the blue light suppresses melatonin for about twice as long as the green

light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much leading to weight gain.

In order to avoid the negative effects of blue light, researchers suggest you power

down all electronics two or three hours before you head off to bed.

If you simply must use electronics late at night, put them in night mode or install a

program which overlays your screen in warmer tones and minimize those cool blue tones which

could interfere with your body’s melatonin production.

the bell icon so that you don’t miss any updates!

Takes Time Away From Other Activities:

Making time to exercise is hard, especially in today’s

fast paced world.

It is so easy to accidentally spend that hour you had set aside for a workout scrolling

through social media.

You set your alarm early, but by the time you’ve checked your feed, answered emails

and checked your horoscope, you’re practically late for work!

It may not feel like it, but those minutes can add up quickly . It’s a wonder you can

get anything done, let alone make it to the gym.

Turns You Into A Couch Potato:

Why go outside and play when you have a world of entertainment

at your fingertips?

Gone are the days of “be home before the street lamps come on”.

It’s easy to pass the time on the couch scrolling away.

Friends can send funny videos back and forth for hours, or go head to head in their favourite

games.

It’s not that it’s unsocial, this is actually a viable way of spending time with friends,

but it’s certainly not active.

Apart from keeping folks inside, it has also caused a huge shift towards indoor childhood

in the last decade.

Studies show a drastic decrease in outdoor activities such as bike riding or pick up

basketball.

In fact, child obesity rates have doubled in the last 30-years.

That is a huge jump, and it coincides with the rise of electronics and technology.

Distracts You from Physical Activities:

So you’ve gotten yourself off the couch and

you’re on a machine at the gym.

You’ve got your smartphone to keep you pumped with a great playlist.

Next thing you know, you’re getting bombarded with notifications.

Someone liked your photo, it’s so-and-so’s birthday, and your friend from college wants

to FaceTime.

Suddenly, your break between sets is you sitting on the stretching mats, and the only body

part exercising is your thumbs!

A study was done where 50 students were asked to perform a motor task with a cellphone visible,

while another 50 did the same task without a phone in sight.

The performance of complex tasks suffered with a cellphone in sight.

According to researchers, this was because it reminded people of a broader community

they can access and led to distraction.

Slows You Down:

Ironically, the device that’s meant to speed up your world is often slowing

you down.

A study found out that humans walk 33 percent slower when using a smartphone.

If you’re relying on a big walk as your exercise for the day, it’s only two thirds

as effective as you might think if you’re walking buddy is a smartphone.

Not to mention the safety concern.

A study involved researchers sitting at intersections and observing the behavior of cell phone users.

Results say users were 400 percent less likely to forget to look at the stoplights, stay

within the crosswalk, or check for traffic.

Makes You A Sitting Duck:

Most of us, unless we’re doing cardio or walking, use our devices

while sitting or laying down.

This is called engaging in sedentary activity and researchers say it poses a significant

risk for weight related diseases like diabetes.

One study followed more than 50,000 middle-age women for six years.

For every two hours of screen time each day, participants had a 23 percent higher risk

of becoming obese and a 14 percent higher risk of developing diabetes.

Scientists are still figuring out exactly why sitting is so detrimental to our health,

but one obvious explanation is that the less we move, the less fuel we require; the extra

blood sugar floods the bloodstream and contributes to diabetes and other weight related risks.

Food Ads Trigger Cravings:

Have you ever noticed you get cravings while watching commercials,

checking out the feed of your favourite influencer or watching that youtube food vlog?

If not, start taking note.

Simply seeing food related content can lead to thoughts about food.

Reducing screen time reduces your exposure to these triggers and may help to better control

your cravings.

Leads to Mindless Snacking: Distractions like TV, your laptop or your smartphone can lead

to overeating.

When you are watching a movie or working at the computer, it’s easy to grab snacks by

the bag for convenience.

One handful quickly leads to two and sometimes half the box.

What’s worse is that not focusing on the food may leave you unsatisfied even after

eating hundreds of extra calories.

It Has Made Ordering Food Very Easy: Thanks to your smartphone, all fast food restaurants

within a 20 mile radius are at your fingertips.

With plenty of meal ordering apps and websites out there, ordering food has become even faster.

You have the ability to order fast food whenever you want and that’s quite the temptation.

According to a study, 69 percent of consumers order fast food online through a mobile device.

Having this power at your fingertips doesn’t necessarily change your eating habits, but

it sure does make it easier to skip the dinner prep and press the magic delivery button.

Less Physical Activity At the Workplace: The work world has never been more connected.

Business people are reaping the benefits of multi-way calling, google hangouts and Skype.

You can have a full fledged meeting from the comfort of your couch, which is certainly

handy.

However, electric conferencing doesn’t promote a lot of activity.

The days of playing a round of golf to facilitate a meeting, or walking through the park after

a business lunch are long gone.

As we become more connected, we get more comfortable working from home, and we lose the work-inspired

physical activity leading to weight gain.

Increases Dependency of Fitness Apps: Fitness apps are all the rage.

You put your trust in the screen, take virtual healthy living instructions, and expect to

see results.

But in real life, it’s not that easy.

First of all, it’s dangerous and ineffective to go through a new workout without supervision.

Some apps include videos, but this is nothing compared to working out in a group or with

a trainer.

Secondly, apps are not equipped to make dietary recommendations when each person is so varied

in their body composition and nutrient needs.

Third, and most important, is a concept called moral licensing.

This is the idea that if you’re good in one area, you allow yourself to splurge in

others.

So, if you do what your fitness app says, you can suddenly justify desert at dinner.

This will put you even further behind on the journey to healthy living, especially when

the good you do with your fitness app isn’t really that effective.

Causes Distracted Dining: It’s right up there with drunk driving: distracted dining.

Ok, hardly as deadly, but eating in front of a screen is dangerous to your waistline.

Research has shown that people who eat while watching something often miss satiety signals

and consume 10 percent more in one sitting than they would otherwise.

Not only that, distracted diners go on to consume an average 25 percent more total calories

over the course of the day than those who dine unplugged.

Are you an avid electronics user?

Do you spend hours online everyday?

Let us know in the comments section below!

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