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Is your phone affecting your health and sleep? It probably is, find out how.

It is 10:30 pm and you decide it is time to call it a day. You turn the TV off, the 3 hour House of Cards marathon you just had will suffice for today, you think. Texting and watching is tiring stuff, following the story on the big screen whilst keeping up with the eight explosive groups on WhatsApp you are in leaves you beat. Phone in hand you tuck into bed and decide a little bedside browsing will help you fall asleep faster. One and half hours later you are still awake.

Does that sound about accurate? For most of us it is and it is technological advancement we have to blame. Advancements in lighting tech to be precise, fluorescent bulbs and LEDs the culprits. Our light source used to be the sun in the day and fire when the sun set. All natural light. These days our evenings are well illuminated by ‘energy savers’ and coupled with the LEDs in our TVs and smartphones, evenings have never been brighter. All artificial light.

This artificial light is problematic because it can interrupt our normal sleep patterns. Our bodies control physiological processes, sleep included, using the amount of light and dark the body is exposed to. When less light is detected the body prepares for sleep by secreting sleep hormones (real thing) and when more light is detected the body secretes hormones to wake the body up. Artificial light then confuses the body’s natural rhythms and so the body does not know when to prepare for sleep. That means an anxious you desperate to fall asleep at twelve in the morning.

If only that were the only problem with the above mentioned fluorescent and LED bulbs (in smartphones too). It is not. They also produce blue light which might be worse. Blue light boosts attention, reaction times and mood which is not what you want when you are about to retire to sleep. Those energy saver bulbs and smartphones of ours are confusing our bodies into thinking it is day and secreting hormones accordingly. The suppression of the sleep hormone, melatonin, by blue light is particularly problematic. Low melatonin levels in the body have been linked to cancer, heart disease and other nasty stuff.

Scary stuff, that is. What can you do about it? There are a couple of changes you can make in your lifestyle right away to reap near instant benefits, in the insomnia department at least. Here is what you can do.

  • Avoid using your phone or computer or watching TV an hour before bed, some say 2 hours and if you can, good for you. This will sound ‘undoable’ to some of us but let us ask ourselves this. What good is all this tech if it adversely affects our health and makes insomniacs of us? No good at all.
  • Your phone has a blue light filter, utilise it. Search for night light, night mode or display mode in the settings and toggle it on. If your phone does not have it download this app. You will know it is on by the yellowing of the screen. It is not necessary to use this during the day, as discussed it earlier you wouldn’t want this so only turn it on after 7 pm.
  • Dim your lights or switch them off if they cannot be dimmed, at least 2 hours before bed. Your body will start to produce melatonin in that dim environment, which is what you want.
  • If you can afford those fancy smart bulbs do make the purchase. You can set them to dim automatically at a time of your choosing and also set them to not produce any blue light.

You cannot put a price on health, or a good night’s sleep for that matter. Your phone is trying to kill you, or at least harm you. Take back control over your own body’s physiological processes. You can try at least one of the solutions above. Tell us which one(s) you will try in the comments below and if you have even more tips, as they say, the more the merrier.


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8 thoughts on “Is your phone affecting your health and sleep? It probably is, find out how.

  1. have you run out of subjets to write about? How about why can’t we top up our lines directly through our cards with 0 charges? What has happened to ecofarmer? any chance of data prices reducing or affordable bundles? Where is best to get phones fixed without the parts being stolen?

    1. Sorry that you did not find this article interesting but this is a real thing. Only came across it a few months ago and a number of the observations in the article align with stuff I found out when I researched the article. I actually installed the exact same app that they recommend 🙂 and it helped.

  2. Nd hw r you going to do all tht while ur sick. Vamwe hatidi kuurayiwa nemaphone edu. We cn allways here abt where phones are fixed but the same phones affect our health. Maybe u dont care abt this bt some of us care abt our health. I say keep writing abt stuff like this.

  3. If I switch off all these thing an hour or two before sleeping, what will I be doing?

  4. I listen to music and podcasts. Sometimes I play Monopoly or cards. I don’t have the fancy lights so the light will be on sometimes. My phone has a blue light filter.

  5. Discovered blue light filtering a few months ago and I like it. Takes a while to adapt to but it helps with sleep. Dimming a PC or laptop screen at nigh also helps. Less fatigue on the eye. That’s my personal experience.

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