By Nursing@Georgetown’s Online FNP Program
Technological device ownership has increased drastically over the past several years. According to the Pew Research Center, 68 percent of U.S. adults have a smartphone — a 35 percent increase from 2011 — and 45 percent own a tablet. However, increased access to technological devices has an adverse effect on our ability to sleep.
Electronic screens emit short-wavelength blue light that disrupts our circadian rhythm — which determines when we feel sleepy. Short-wavelength blue light is also emitted by the sun, sparks cortisol production, which helps us stay alert, and suppresses melatonin, which helps us fall asleep.
A poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that 90 percent of American adults use their electronic device within an hour of bedtime at least a few nights a week. The result, our body is more inclined to stay awake the longer we spend on our phones.