Today I am feeling really tired. Like my brain is running on 45% mode tired. Eyelids = heavy. Attitude = cranky. So when I saw this article in NYT Well, I paid attention. Many of us have already heard that using electronics before bed is a big no no, but for some reason it still seems like a huge challenge for many (including myself) to disconnect before bed. Whether it’s work emails, wrapping up that final TPS report, You Tube’ing cat videos, or Facebook stalking…it all results in compromised sleep. “Research has showed…two hours of exposure to a bright tablet screen at night reduced melatonin levels by about 22%.” Suppression of melatonin has been directly linked to obesity and diabetes.
Why are we addicted to our nighttime routines? Well, it may have something to do with that burst of energy many of us have at night, we feel capable of accomplishing twice what we can during daytime hours. Well folks, that’s your little stress hormone cortisol coming out to play. When we miss that ‘window’ of time to fall asleep, our cortisol levels rise, which means our energy will rise – and guess what else that means? Our blood sugar rises. End result: tired mornings, fatigued afternoons, compromised immune system, distressed digestion, and poorly regulated blood sugar (which can – and often does – translate to weight gain over time). Let’s practice stepping away from the device.