There was a time that we were all told to avoid technology before bedtime if we wanted a good night’s sleep. The general idea was that if you were looking at a screen, or interacting with technology in any other way, it would prevent your brain from winding down properly before you drifted off to sleep. Even if you did manage to nod off, the sleep you had would not be as deep or restful. As technology has changed and advanced, opinions towards it and sleep have changed somewhat.
It used to be the case that people might curl up with a book in bed, and some old-fashioned types like me still do. The only technology used in the bedroom might be the light by which you read, and possibly (if you were really forward thinking) a bedside radio alarm that might wake you up the next morning. Technology has become such a key part of our everyday lives that it’s almost a natural step that it’s come into the bedroom too. Not only are books being replaced by eReaders of some kind or other, but the screens and backlighting on devices like these and mobile phones have developed so that they are now “the right kind of light” for those of us using them in bed so that they don’t stop us from getting a good night’s sleep.
With special lighting that can automatically dim and turn off when it’s bedtime and similarly gradually wake you up too, it’s no wonder that a whole market has also emerged to use technology to tell you how well you’re sleeping. Various wrist-worn fitness trackers and smart watches now have the ability to track your sleep – telling you how deeply you managed to sleep, how long for, and even showing a pretty graph of exactly when you were restless in the night. I’ve seen friends sharing their sleep charts on Facebook and whilst sometimes it can feel a bit like a competition as to who got the least sleep the night before it can actually be useful. One friend used a week’s worth of data to realise that the reason he was always waking up at 4am and then tossing and turning for a couple of hours was because that was when his central heating kicked in and the noise of that disturbed him every night. A few tweaks to the timing and he was suddenly getting a better night’s sleep and feeling much better for it.
Technology is being used everywhere in the bedroom now and even our beds haven’t escaped from technological advances. Adjustamatic electric beds not only adjust, as the name suggests, but also feature NHC Cyclo-Therapy technology. This innovative massage system can be used to provide pain relief from a range of medical conditions, reduce muscle spasms and improve the circulation of blood around the body.
I’m pretty sure that the dated theory of getting rid of technology from the bedroom in order to get a good night’s sleep has been well and truly kicked into touch now!
Sleep image from Shutterstock.