Students know more than anyone that technology and sleep are two essentials for surviving college life, but is one affecting the other in a very negative way? Gavin Hyland looks into it...

Studies suggest that using technology before bed can have a negative impact on your sleeping habits.The use of technology at night can affect performance in college.

 

Marci Torres, Director of Healthy Campus said, “In terms of college students, if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re not going to retain the information [taught in lectures]”.
 

Torres also says, “Within an hour of going to bed, you should turn off any technology because it actually reduces the amount of your sleep hormone, melatonin”.

 

This is possibly easier said than done. Students depend heavily on technology for socialising and studying so when night comes around it is unlikely people are going to change their source of entertainment.

 

It is easier for people to access this sort of entertainment while in bed thanks to streaming services such as Netflix which means students can watch movies and programmes on their phone or tablets, no TV required.

 

Why does technology prevent us from sleeping? The lighting from the screens ‘tricks your body into thinking it’s earlier than it actually is’ according to Marci Torres.
 

The very thing we depend on all day is the thing we need to avoid at all costs before bed. continued sleep disturbance can lead to mental health problems, reduce productivity during the day and lower the immune system.

 

Not all people agree that avoiding technology is best. Many students find watching movies, programmes or listening to music a welcome escape from the reality of their day.
 

Some people who do use technology shortly before bed cite a difficult day in college or work as a reason they watch a screen or listen to music even when research suggests it will disturb their sleep.

 

Although researchers can tell the short-term effects of the use of technology on sleep, it is more difficult to predict the long-term effects as the excessive use of screens is a historically recent phenomenon.

 

What effects (if any) caused by using technology before bed will not be known until our generation progress to later life.

 

Spunout.ie advise relaxing before bed, to avoid consuming tea or coffee and to keep your bedroom as dark as possible as just some ways of achieving a good night’s sleep. It is also suggested that light reading can help relax people before bed but nothing that will stimulate the brain too much.

 

It is also important to stress that if students are suffering with sleep disorders it is not likely that technology is solely responsible. Studies suggest technology do not help sleep but if you eradicate technology from your night time rituals and sleep disturbance continues it is worth getting tips online or visiting a doctor.

 

Yes it is true, we do rely on technology for many aspects of our lives but sleeping is not one of them.