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HEALTH

Why shouldn’t you sleep with your cell phone around?

Many important processes of human development occur during sleep. Therefore, it is essential to eliminate the factors that diminish the quality of night rest.

This is one of the main reasons why experts say sleeping with electronic devices nearby can negatively affect your health. Whether it’s a mobile or cell phone, the tablet or the iPad. It is necessary to avoid to have near any device with screen.

But unlike many people think, the main reason for this warning is not the radiation from the electronic equipment, but the light they give off. The biological clock of the human body obeys daily the instructions of a cycle known as the circadian rhythm. One of the main factors regulating this cycle is light. Especially the luminescence of the sky.

Our body is programmed to begin secreting substances when luminosity levels drop. Melatonin, for example, is the hormone that induces the physiological state of sleep. The one that makes us feel with heavy eyelids and “invites” us to go to our beds when night falls.

What scientists say

Tests carried out by the Luminous Research Centre in New York have shown that artificial light has the capacity to drastically reduce the levels of melatonin secreted by the body.

During the research it has been observed that as the intensity of daylight falls, and the sky becomes reddish, melatonin production begins to grow. The reverse process occurs when the blue light spectrum is predominant. If the blue light stays on, there’s no melatonin.

The problem of the matter is that, as this study points out, the light produced by most digital equipment today has characteristics very similar to those of blue sky light. So it is a luminescence that, without being harmful in itself, can cause counterproductive effects.

The worst of all is the interruption of the circadian cycle and the interruption of sleep. The deep sleep phase is estimated to begin 45 minutes after the start of rest. That’s when melatonin production peaks.

But with the mobile active, that peak might not be reached. Since the wavelength of artificial light is capable of making the nervous system not relax enough to lead the individual to deep sleep.

The World Health Organization has noted that one hour less sleep can result in a severe loss of concentration during the day.

In addition, prolonged lack of sleep can lead the insomniac individual to develop serious neurological conditions. And other high-risk diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.

Some tips

The best way to avoid the negative effects of using your mobile phone and other digital devices is not to use them when you are in bed. Some experts even recommend that you stop using your mobile phone 45 minutes before going to bed.

Changing your smartphone’s settings to night mode (so that the mobile’s brightness gets softer tones), during the last hours of your day’s activity is another useful tip. This strategy, according to the Spanish chronobiology expert Juan Antonio Madrid, is one of the most effective to promote sleep.

Follow these tips and sleep like a king.

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