Swap your smart phone for more cake
I must admit I thought that after having a good few days off over the Christmas holidays I’d be back at work feeling all refreshed and raring to go. Well the raring to go bit is there, it’s the refreshed bit that’s lacking.
Well it turns out by lack of refreshment is nothing to do with having time off or not, it’s all to do with the fact that I’m addicted to checking my smart phone before I go to sleep. You know the thing I mean, that last minute check of your emails, scouting round Facebook for those drunken posts that you know the person is going to totally regret in the morning before rounding off with a quick game of Farm Heroes. Before you know it over an hour has gone by and your kindly alarm tells you you’ve got just over 6 hours before it’s time to get up again.
Does that sound familiar?
If it does you’re definitely not on your own. Plus the downside is not only don’t you get enough sleep, using your phone in bed is harming your brain and body more than what you think.
By stumbling across a great video by Dr Dan Siegal, posted by Business Insider, I’ve discovered that what happens is the light glaring from your phone screen tricks your body into thinking its daytime. So far from falling into that sleepy state, your brain starts waking up. Result is you get far less sleep than you actually need as it takes you so much longer to fall into a deep sleep which is where your body does most of its repairing.
So what does Dr Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, have to say on the subject?
“Sleeping for less than seven hours a night doesn’t give time for the supportive cells, called glial cells, in your brain to clean up the toxins that the active neurons have produced.”
To be honest I didn’t really fully understand (something to do with a lack of sleep) but he kindly put it into layman’s terms for me.
“What it means is that over 95% of people need between seven to nine hours of sleep a night or your attention weakens, your memory is reduced and the ability to think through problems is challenged. It is toxic to the connections to your brain.”
Scary stuff – and there’s more. Dr Dan also reckons it’s more likely to make you gain weight as having too little sleep also affects your insulin.
Blinking flip – so the whole time I was thinking it was all that cake I was eating that was making me fat – it’s actually been caused by looking at my phone in bed. Who’d have thought!
Fortunately, Dr Dan’s solution is an easy one. “Give yourself at least an hour before bed without looking at a screen. Read a book, take the dog for a walk but do not pick up that smart phone!”
So the solution is simple after all, plus as a bonus if I give up my smart phone at night not only will I get more sleep I can eat more cake in the daytime. Result!!