If you like to work late at night, don’t let your electronic devices kill your sleep


If you’re an entrepreneur today, the world is your oyster when it comes to technology.  With modern portable computer devices, it’s amazing the things you can do for a business without being in a brick and mortar location.

Laptops, MacBooks, iPads, tablets, notebooks, and smartphones have become part of the mobile office.

Whether on the road or working from home, you can check emails, work on documents, read reports, do online research, video conference, and watch webinars.

These devices also make it incredibly convenient to keep working in the evening and in bed late at night.  (In fact, some people claim this is when they’re most creative, so why not get something done?).

However, this intrusion of electronic devices into the bedroom has a serious downside – it can
wreck your sleep if you’re not careful.  These devices make it harder to unplug and relax, and the screens emit bright light which can cause insomnia.

The National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll and found that 9 in 10 Americans use an electronic device before bedtime, with over 60 percent using a computer or laptop regularly in the evening.

We now know that the body’s sleep-wake cycle is regulated by light.  The bright blue wavelength light emitted by electronic screens can interfere with these cycles and cause insomnia.  (Blue wavelength light is believed to slow the production of melatonin, the hormone that tells your body it’s time to sleep.)

So as great as these devices, they could really be hurting you if you’re not careful.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 3 US adults are sleep deprived.

After a night of poor sleep, your brain simply doesn’t work as well as it should, you have a harder time learning, and don’t cope as well during the day.

This, in turn, may result in poor business decisions and make it harder to get things done which can really impact your business.

So, what should you be doing?

1) Practice good sleep hygiene

This involves the things you do during the day and at bedtime that can set the stage for great sleep.  It includes limiting your electronic use in the evening.

  • Keep consistent wake up and sleep times
  • Avoid naps late in the day and keep them short
  • Exercise each day
  • Avoid large meals, alcohol, or stimulants before bedtime
  • Maintain a bedtime routine
  • Avoid using electronics before sleep
  • Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet

2) Turn on night mode on devices

If you absolutely have to work in the evening, many devices now come with a built-in feature that adjusts the screen colors to reduce your exposure to blue light:

Laptops and desktops (Windows 10)

Macs (notebooks and desktops)

iPads and iPhones

Android (phones, tablets)

You should also do this if you’re working on a desktop computer at home in the evening and late at night.

3) Use blue-light blocking glasses

Researchers have found that amber-tinted glasses can help prevent insomnia by filtering out the blue light.  (You can read more about this here.)

Being an entrepreneur can be tough in the competitive world we live in, so why make it harder?  You’re the most important asset for your business so be smart about how you use your electronic devices.

You owe it to yourself to get great sleep every night so that you’re at your best as you tackle the business challenges of the day.

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