Get off your phone when you get into bed, says science. Smartphone screens emit a blue light that mimics the brightness of the sun, and your brain tends to confuse that ever-so-seductive glow of Instagram with natural sunlight. This triggers the body to stop producing melatonin, the hormone responsible for telling your body to power down and get to sleep. By interrupting melatonin production, your device can throw off the body’s natural circadian rhythms, making it harder to get the right kind of rest. Without sleep, everything falls apart. Here are few health risks involved, should your nightly repose be neglected:
Memory — Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your memory and ability to focus. Without clocking a solid REM cycle, you may find yourself distracted or foggy the following day, affecting job performance or your ability to learn.
Neurotoxins — Over time, lack of sleep can cause neurotoxic buildup that makes getting the proper amount of z’s even harder night by night. Basically, the less you sleep, the harder it is to get to sleep.
Depression — Moodiness is a relatable side effect of lack of sleep for most people. With enough irregularity, the condition can become severe. Individuals with suppressed melatonin levels and irregular sleep patterns are more prone to depression.
Obesity — Upsetting the melatonin levels in the body has a trickle-down effect for hormones that control hunger. Obesity risks increase in individuals without a healthy sleep pattern.
Cancer — The link has been made to increased risk of breast and prostate cancer due to lack of sleep from exposure to blue light.
Eye Damage — Though more research is needed, there is some evidence to suggest the blue light damages the retina and may lead to cataracts over time.
Hormone Imbalance — Pull at the melatonin thread, and the rest of the body’s hormones can also fall out of line. Without a nightly recovery, the body becomes stressed and unable to reboot and restore. Added stress can lead to spikes in cortisol, progesterone deficiency, and adrenal fatigue, leaving you feeling even more exhausted.
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