Sleep has been especially difficult of late and I was out of ideas until I brought it up to Margie this morning over coffee (decaffeinated). She suggested it might have to do with my “circadian rhythm,” which I’d never heard of.
The explanation (here) is actually pretty simple:
“Ninety percent of people in the U.S. admit to using a technological device during the hour before turning in, and children often use electronic media to help them relax at night. … using electronic devices before bedtime can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep.
“Here’s what happens: Using TVs, tablets, smartphones, laptops, or other electronic devices before bed delays your body’s internal clock (a.k.a., your circadian rhythm), suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and makes it more difficult to fall asleep. This is largely due to the short-wavelength, artificial blue light that’s emitted by these devices. The more electronic devices that a person uses in the evening, the harder it is to fall asleep or stay asleep. Besides increasing your alertness at a time when you should be getting sleepy, which in turn delays your bedtime, using these devices before turning in delays the onset of REM sleep, reduces the total amount of REM sleep, and compromises alertness the next morning. Over time, these effects can add up to a significant, chronic deficiency in sleep.”
My GP (who seems to know about technology, too; she’s amazing) says to use the “nightshift” blue blocking device on the Kindle. I’ll give it a shot.