It’s been a long day at work. You’re drained, and nothing seems more appealing than the prospect of flopping into bed and curling up under that cosy quilt. You have the bedroom essentials for a good night’s sleep. You ’ve changed into PJs, put out the lights and are about to hit the sack. From a tablet miles away, your friend comments on your Instagram post. And your phone beeps. What happens next?
We know what happens next. It’s happened to most of us. What transpires is a flurry of online activity: messages whizzing back and forth, feed being read, friends’ posts skimmed through, profiles being updated: and before you know it, you are hooked. Does this sound familiar to you? Your answer is pivotal in answering the crucial question that follows. Is social media keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep?
Social media addict to night owl
A survey of 250 people conducted by the Service of Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) clinic at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans) revealed that all the participants checked their phones or tablets four times on an average, even after going to bed.  This is the case with majority of avid social media users. While you’re busy feeding your social media addiction, your snooze time keeps getting pushed for later, night after late night. The result? You just opened the doors to insomnia, anxiety, depression, weight gain and serious lifestyle diseases that you’d not wish upon your worst enemies.
The blue light is a major red flag
It’s not just the engaging nature of social media that is detrimental to sleep. When you indulge in social media activity via your phone, the screen light too has adverse effects on your sleep routine. The blue light emitted by phones sends signals to the brain that interfere with the production of melatonin, a chemical needed for sleep. The Sleep Health Foundation says that repeated use of a bright screen in the evening over five nights can delay the body clock by 1.5 hours.  This means you end up staying in bed longer and botching up your regime the next morning.
To sleep or not to sleep, that is the question
Is social media a boon or bane? After being alerted about the torpedo of grim-sounding, lifestyle diseases coming your way, you couldn’t really care about that. But what you can take care about is getting an adequate amount of quality sleep that sustains a healthy lifestyle. Besides, at the break-neck pace the world is going, there is an access of light and activity. What’s missing is silence and peace. How about you keep your bedtime for these. Social media will be still be booming next morning.