In today’s world, we cannot escape screens.  Everywhere we go, we are always carrying around our smartphones.  Schools are handing out tablets to their students of all ages and are not thinking about the consequences.  Throughout our educational career, we are asked to type countless essays on our computers and laptops.  Adults are expected to work on their laptops depending on their occupation and work even more from home.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, 95% of people use some type of computer, video game, or phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed.  This excessive amount of screens is a problem, especially for our sleeping habits.

The explanation is simple: Modern screens emit a blue light that has been shown to affect your circadian rhythms, delay the release of melatonin, and make it harder to fall asleep.  Photoreceptors in our retinas sense lightness and darkness, which signals our brains if it's day or night.  Because of these little guys, our circadian rhythms, or day-night cycles, align.  Light is one of the most important agents in establishing our circadian rhythms.  When we look at our smartphones, tablets, and laptops, our eyes and brains are simply being tricked into thinking we are looking at the sun.  Staring at these screens constantly, especially before we go to bed, is keeping our brains awake.  Our brains need time to unwind before going to bed, so it is suggested to stop looking at screens an hour before bed.  Yoga and other relaxation methods are recommended to help calm the mind - so save that last text for the morning.

72% of children ages 6 to 17 sleep with at least one electronic device in their room.  The difference between getting less sleep on school nights compared with other kids who don't have an electronic device in their bedroom adds up to at least one hour per night.  Parents are constantly advised to remove technology from their children's bedroom, so later sleep and health issues don't occur.