Jumping into bed after a long day and relaxing with your favourite TV show is perhaps one of the best ways to fall asleep. However, recent studies have suggested that this could in fact be linked with depression and obesity. While this may sound outlandish at first, it does make a lot of sense when you know the facts.
Generally speaking, quality sleep and technology do not mix. Even with your eyes closed, your brain can detect the blue light being emitted from the television which can pause the production of Melatonin (The hormone that causes you to feel tired). While some people have no difficulty nodding off in the light, the quality of sleep you receive will still be diminished. It is this lack of ‘good sleep’ that is responsible for the two health problems mentioned earlier:
Weight Gain – Being deprived of quality sleep can lead to a slower metabolism, meaning you burn less than the average amount of calories whilst resting. It can also increase the levels of fat and blood sugar found in your body.
Depression– Sleep and depression have an extremely complicated relationship that is still being investigated today. All of the studies published on this topic suggest that not getting a good night’s rest can take a serious toll on someone’s mental health. It can also lead to mood swings, stress and an overall lack of focus.
With more people facing insomnia than ever before, a huge array of sleeping aids have been developed and made readily available. There are also some more ‘traditional’ methods that still do the trick:
White noise box – This is essentially a machine that creates natural sounds, perfect for anyone that requires background noise in order to fully relax at night.
Aromatherapy – Scents such as lavender have been scientifically proven to promote quality sleep. There are a variety of essential oil diffusers and sprays available for this.
Reading and Meditation – Try turning the television off for an hour before bed and fill this time slot with light reading or meditation.
Disconnect – Remove all technology from your sleeping area, this includes phones and other handheld electrical devices. If you use your phone as an alarm clock, place it as far away from you as possible, ensuring that it is on ‘do not disturb’ mode.
If none of the above methods get you to drift off, it may be best to continue sleeping in front of the TV. This might not be the healthiest option, but it is still far better than getting no sleep at all. Make use of the energy saving options on your device so that it automatically switches off after an hour or so, by which time you will hopefully be in dreamland.