March 08, 2011

Turn off the gadgets, turn off the brain?

I was watching the news last night and one of the reports said that it is really hard for people to disconnect from their lives at bedtime and then end up sleeping much less than needed. I always heard that an adult needs around 8 hours of sleep and I suppose I consider myself lucky when I get around 7.5 hours—not always though but younger people need even more time of sleep.

They say that one of the biggest causes of this is having computers (Facebook, Twitter, blogs!), the TV, the phone and all their distractions keeps the brain from relaxing and being able to fall into the rhythm of sleep as the screen light suppresses the chemicals in the brain that make us fall asleep and relax. The recommendation is to just turn everything off and let the brain take time to rest.

I have to admit of being guilty of the last paragraph. After all, I have my Facebook, blog, texting, phone and even my alarm clock on my trusty iPhone. Would I dare turn it off? Not by a long shot! I can’t imagine not being able to be reached by my kids should anything happen, or a relative. I suppose it is always in the back of my mind and I suppose in the back of my sleep too! Is this just the present way of life? I don’t know, I can’t say that I like it that much but then again, I’m the first one to refuse to do anything about it.

So this is a perfect example of how does technology make life easier in some ways but also difficult in others. I honestly don’t have an answer. I suppose I am not in charge of the world’s actual rotation but sometimes it sure feels like it. It is just one of those things that before I realize it has taken over my life and it is ½ dependencies and ½ addictions and if sleep suffers because of it, then I guess it might be the price to pay.

But does it have to be?

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