One thing that most people would like to do and can agree that we don’t do enough of is to sleep. More Americans feel exhausted or are always tired and at least one in three Americans do not get anywhere close to enough sleep on a daily basis. A major culprit of this is our technology and scientists believe that it is taking us away from our natural rhythms and it is hurting us. Just ask Nicely Done Sites founder and CEO David Brooks about this! So what can we do to help overcome this?

Your circadian rhythm is important. It is natural and has been ingrained in humans over generations of growth. We sleep at night when it is dark and are awake when it is light but tech has changed that. In today’s 24/7 world we need to be (or at least think that we need to be) connected to get the latest news or communicate with our friends, coworkers or clients. We’re all guilty of it in one way or another but there are some things that you can do to help mitigate this and get better sleep and tech can help with it.

Tech to stop using tech to get better sleep

One of the biggest things that you can do is to lower the amount of blue light you are exposed to at night. Blue light makes your brain think that it is daylight which messes with your circadian rhythm. The screen that you are staring at emits blue light as do phones, tablets, computers and TVs. Turning down the lights in a home can help, especially if you have a smart lighting system and a blue light filter can be set up to help your eyes adjust to night time. If you have a smart home don’t forget to adjust the thermostat as well, sleep is best in rooms that are 60-67 degrees in temperature.

Along the same lines artificial light affects your eyes. Experts recommend not watching TV right before bed or working or playing on a computer or phone. Good luck with that but this type of light can knock your circadian rhythm out of whack leaving you wondering why you can’t get to sleep at 3 AM. Your body naturally begins to get tired when the sun sets and these screens mess with that while it can also alter the quality of sleep you get. This may be tough for many people and some people choose to leave their devices in another room just to remove the temptation.


Tech that can help you sleep better

Are you getting good sleep? You can track it to find out. Wearable tech can track how deep of sleep you are getting, how many times you wake up and how restless you are during the night. It cannot keep track of your dreams though. Not yet anyway. If that is not your thing smart mattresses can do the same thing. Yes, there is such a thing as a smart mattress.

To get ready for sleep it can be a good idea to give your eyes a rest. Many people spend their evening playing video games, watching TV, Netflix or YouTube videos. Screen exposure just before sleep can be a problem, so listen to an audiobook instead or play a game with your personal assistant. If you can’t do that, read a book to keep your eyes off of the screen, just make sure it is a real book and not an e-reader. That kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it?

Many people also do not like excess noise when they try to get to sleep. That can be people outside talking, a party going on or even just the normal sounds of the environment. Some people though are used to the sounds of cars driving down a street and have trouble going to sleep to the sound of crickets or vice versa. If the environment is not obliging your personal assistant can help. These devices can play all kinds of noises or even just white noise to help reduce the sounds of the person operating a lumber mill next to you.

Waking Up

No one likes to wake up to the alarm. It is annoying (duh!) after all and it tends to get you out of that nice deep sleep and that amazing dream you were having sipping cool drinks on a tropical beach. But you need to go to get up to go to work. Well, tech can help with that. Most people tend to wake up with daylight and while tech cannot replicate your mom opening the curtains to get you up a smart bulb can be programmed to turn on and raise the level of light in a room. Throw in an alarm that starts softly and rises in volume as the light level rises and that may be the best way to wake yourself up.

Napping With Tech

That doesn’t mean that you won’t feel tired during the day. If that is the case a nap may be necessary, either at work on your lunch break or when you get home from work. Napping is not bad. Many pro sports teams are encouraging their players to take advantage of downtime to nap and like everything else it is being tracked by technology. Over the course of a long season keeping up the energy to maintain a good level of performance is key. This is not even a new concept, the Russians pioneered science-based athletic training in the last century and many major North American teams are incorporating it. For them napping is an integral part of that as is getting a proper amount of good deep sleep. In fact a good 20 minute nap can have the same effect as a cup of coffee.

While tech can help you get better sleep or keep you in your circadian rhythm you have to want to do it as well but not everyone can. Other simple things can help as well, like cutting down on the amount of coffee or energy drinks that you drink during the day to get better quality sleep. Just remember as well that it is not good for you to “catch up” on sleep as well so sleeping in on an off day may feel good but it does not do much good. In fact it could put you into a different sleep pattern that is more difficult to break. It would be better just to go to bed an hour earlier maybe and put the tech away.

But in the end the best way to sleep better may have nothing to do with technology. Get out of the house and let nature do what it does. Maybe take a weekend and go camping or just take a walk in the forest. One weekend of getting up with the sun and going to sleep when the sun sets can right your body faster than any bit of technology can. It might also be best to leave your phone at home as well or keep it out of reach.

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