Getting healthy doesn’t have to be a drag. It doesn’t mean eating wheat grass smoothies, alcohol-free beer and running 24 hour endurance marathons. That’s why we’ve prepared a series of un-boring tips that’ll give you small steps towards leading a way healthier life.
Even when they were hilariously gigantic, like on episodes of Miami Vice or The A-Team, mobile phones were undeniably handy. Although handy, they weren’t necessarily fun. Nowadays, they are the definition of un-boring. From beating your high score in Ridiculous Fishing to binge-watching your favourite Netflix shows, smartphones keep guys entertained and connected 24/7.
What many of us don’t realize is that all of this fun and convenience comes at a price: It hinders our ability to fall asleep and sleep soundly.
Why the snooze blues? It boils down to three main factors:
- Brain drain: The opposite of what should be happening before you sleep; those games, emails and shows stimulate your brain. Instead, you should gradually wind-down your brain activity.
- Stress: It’s a similar story with the rest of your body: Playing a game or composing an email causes you to tense up, often without realizing it. This can cause your adrenal gland to produce cortisol, a sleep-inhibiting hormone tied to our “fight or flight” response to stress.
- Glow: The light emitted by handheld devices delays the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. As shuteye comes later and later, your body clock adjusts to your new cycle and soon you’re stuck in a sleepless rut.
Avoid these tech-related pitfalls with three easy steps:
1. Unwind before bed
Half an hour of technology-free time before bed will help your mind and body transition smoothly into sleep mode.
2. Give tech the boot
Your bedroom should be a quiet, cool, dark sanctuary that induces slumber. Ban the TV, tablet, phone and laptop.
3. Disconnect your family’s devices as well
The aforementioned devices should also be removed from all the bedrooms in your household. They may disrupt a child’s sleep which in turn causes stress and sleeplessness not only for the child, but for parents as well.
Technology is not the only culprit here; alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine can also thwart a good night’s sleep. Read here for 10 more tips to get better shut-eye.
Rohleder N, Beulen SE, Chen E, Wolf JM, Kirschbaum C. (2007). Stress on the dance floor: the cortisol stress response to social-evaluative threat in competitive ballroom dancers. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 33(1):69–84. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17178931?dopt=Abstract
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.