Even if you don’t have sleep apnea, getting a sufficient amount of sleep each night can be difficult. If you find yourself struggling to feel well-rested the next morning, there’s a chance it could be due to your habits that immediately occur before you head to the bedroom. For example, if you happen to use a cell phone, laptop, or tablet either right before bed (or even in bed), you could be harming your sleep quality. Unfortunately, the same may also be true when watching television. To learn why subtle changes in these habits can make a difference in both your sleep quality and overall health, keep reading!
How Electronics Can Affect Your Sleep Quality
While the main light source you’re likely to be exposed to is the sun, you also get exposed to a lot of blue light, which comes from handheld and entertainment devices. The more you’re exposed to blue light, the more disrupted your melatonin production becomes. As a result, you feel more awake.
This can be useful when you’re active throughout the day, but detrimental to your sleep quality at night. In fact, using devices very late into the night can make it more difficult for you to both get to sleep and stay asleep. If you already have sleep apnea, these habits can easily compound your symptoms further.
Minimizing Exposure to Blue Light
A great way to reduce blue light exposure is to simply turn off your devices (or stop using them) at least one hour before bed. Another helpful habit would be to dim the lights as you get closer to your bedtime to ensure your brain’s circadian rhythm (or the natural, internal process that regulates your sleep-wake cycle) isn’t disrupted. It also helps to switch to activities that help you wind down without dealing with blue light, including:
- Reading a book or magazine
- Listening to music or a podcast
- Performing some light cleaning or preparations for the next day
- Doing a puzzle or writing in a journal
Why Improving Sleep Improves Your Health
Poor sleep has been shown to increase risk for other harmful conditions, including heart disease, depression, weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic health problems. Of course, if you find that making changes in your habits still doesn’t improve your sleep quality, there’s a chance that you have sleep apnea and don’t even realize it.
With the help of an expert in sleep dentistry, you can find a treatment that addresses your symptoms at the source. Whether it’s through oral appliance therapy or a combination of an appliance and a CPAP, you should always give your sleep quality the attention it deserves!
About the Author
Dr. Lively has undergone countless advanced trainings to expand his education in the treatment of sleep disorders like sleep apnea, specifically through oral appliance therapy. This includes courses at the renowned Pierre Fauchard Academy, Misch Institute, and the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. To schedule an appointment and learn more about treating your sleep concerns, you can contact him through his website.