Turn Off Your Gadgets
While it's tempting to find an app or electronic device to help you sleep, there's one inconvenient truth about most electronics: They're sabotaging your sleep, according to a recent study from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Researchers found that melatonin, a hormone secreted by the body to help promote sleep, is suppressed when you're exposed to more than two hours of blue light – which is emitted by iPads, computers, phones, and LCD television screens – before you go to sleep. Previous research shows that lower levels of melatonin can cause less and lower-quality sleep. To counter these effects, try to reduce your blue-light exposure before bed by dimming your device to its lowest level, changing the contrast to a black background with a white font, moving it farther from your face, and avoiding alarm clocks with blue light while sleeping, says study co-author Mariana Figueiro.