I have a bad habit of falling asleep on the lounge in front of the TV. It might be for an hour or two. Often I incorporate what’s going on the tele into my dreams. Not by conscious choice. I’m not seeing anything as my eyes are closed. It’s just that the sounds go into my brain. Does this happen to anyone else? Freaky, isn’t it?
While I struggle to go to sleep when I finally drag myself to bed, I tell (kid?) myself that at least I’ve had a few hours of sleep. And hey, isn’t an hour before midnight worth two after midnight?
Well, no, not this type of sleep! And the science of sleep tells us why.
My readings have told me the first two stages of sleep are light sleep. It can be easily interrupted. Yep, that happens to me. TV show ends and I wake up. Son comes in and asks a question and I answer. Someone makes a noise next to me and I wake up quickly.
By falling asleep in front of the TV you sabotage your efforts to sleep later as you deplete your melatonin levels. Didn’t know that!!
And of course the problem is made worse by the blue light from the iPhone, which I have to sneak a look at, which we all know reduces melatonin more than just a light bulb.
So it isn’t deep sleep. It’s an hour of light sleep and I’m not allowing my brain to enter deeper stages.
Not good at all.
But it gets worse.
Remember I wrote about the 90 minute sleep cycle. Well, the ratio of the different stages of sleep is not the same throughout the night.
You have longer deep sleep in the earlier cycles. So by disrupting my sleep in the early part of the night, I am robbing myself of the deep sleep, needed to clean out the brain (and possibly avoid the protein building up in the brain that Alzheimer’s patients have.)
Now don’t smugly think you’re so good by not falling asleep on the lounge. If you delay going to bed because you’re watching the tele, you’re also missing out on the early deep sleep.
So stop with the binge watching of Netflix. Get to bed!
And don’t fall asleep in bed with the tele on!
Oh, and one last thing from science. Apparently they are now measuring the “busy” brainwave spikes in deep sleep. They shouldn’t be there. They might be changes due to all our use of technology.
It’s messing with our brain waves!
Even before the iPhone, or the invention of the polysomnography and the discover of brain waves, they knew early to bed made Jack clever, rich and healthy.
Last night I was again in bed by 10.30 and fell asleep almost instantly. Unfortunately I work at 3.30am, got up, had a drink and a wee, and went back to bed but I couldn’t go back to sleep. So I go up and surfed the net for two hours. Went back to bed and slept for two more hours! I have to work on this early morning waking up!