Unplugged Serenity: Enhancing Sleep and Well-being by Banishing Smartphones and Optimising Lighting
What is overall sleep and wellbeing?
Sleep plays a crucial role in overall well-being, as supported by various studies. Chow (2020) discusses the relationship between sleep and well-being, emphasising the importance of quality sleep for maintaining optimal health and functioning. Friedman (2019) conducted an integrative analysis and found that sleep quality is associated with social well-being and inflammation levels, highlighting the impact of sleep on both psychological and physiological aspects of well-being.
The effects of sleep on performance and mood have also been investigated in specific populations. Gwyther et al. (2022) conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on sleep interventions for athletes and found that improving sleep can have positive effects on performance, mood, and sleep outcomes. Schlarb, Friedrich, and Claßen (2017) focused on sleep problems in university students and implemented an intervention to address these issues, indicating the potential benefits of sleep interventions for improving well-being in this population.
Furthermore, Smith et al. (2021) conducted a study on high-performing adults and examined the effects of chronic sleep restriction with weekend recovery on cognitive performance and well-being. The results revealed that chronic sleep restriction negatively affected cognitive performance and well-being, underscoring the importance of sufficient and consistent sleep for optimal functioning.
Matt Walker's TED Talk titled "Sleep is Your Superpower" (Walker, 2019) provides a comprehensive overview of the impact of sleep on various aspects of well-being, including memory, emotional regulation, creativity, and physical health.
In summary, the referenced studies and TED Talk emphasise the significant role of sleep in well-being. Quality sleep is associated with social well-being, inflammation levels, athletic performance, cognitive performance, and overall mental and physical health. Recognising the importance of sleep and implementing strategies to improve sleep can contribute to enhancing overall well-being.
Why is sleep important?
Sleep plays a vital role in overall well-being, as evidenced by several studies. The relationship between sleep and well-being is emphasised in Chow's editorial (2020), highlighting the importance of quality sleep for optimal health and functioning. Additionally, Friedman's analysis (2019) reveals the connection between sleep quality, social well-being, gender, and inflammation levels, emphasising the impact of sleep on both psychological and physiological aspects of well-being. Furthermore, research focused on specific populations, such as athletes and university students, demonstrates the positive effects of sleep interventions on performance, mood, and sleep outcomes (Gwyther et al., 2022; Schlarb et al., 2017). Smith et al. (2021) highlight the negative effects of chronic sleep restriction on cognitive performance and overall well-being. Overall, these findings emphasise the importance of prioritising adequate and restful sleep for promoting and maintaining optimal well-being.
Matt Walker's TED Talk, "Sleep is Your Superpower" (2019), further supports the significance of sleep for overall well-being. Walker discusses the impact of sleep on memory, emotional regulation, creativity, and physical health, emphasising the transformative power of quality sleep. Collectively, the references emphasise that sleep is a fundamental pillar of well-being, influencing various aspects of physical, mental, and social health. Prioritising healthy sleep habits can lead to improved overall well-being and better quality of life.
What you can do at home:
In the study "Sleeping with the frenemy: How restricting 'bedroom use' of smartphones impacts happiness and wellbeing," researchers Nicola Hughes and Jolanta Burke examine the negative effects of smartphones on sleep quality and overall well-being. By limiting smartphone use in the bedroom, participants experienced improved sleep patterns and reported higher levels of happiness and well-being. Removing smartphones from the sleep environment allowed individuals to establish healthier sleep routines, reduce exposure to stimulating content before bed, and minimise sleep disturbances caused by notifications and distractions.
In another study conducted by Birgit Sander, Jakob Markvart, Line Kessel, Aikaterini Argyraki, and Kjeld Johnsen, the researchers explore the potential benefits of optimising indoor lighting on sleep quality and well-being among healthy elderly individuals. The study aims to enhance sleep quality and overall well-being by adjusting lighting conditions in homes. The researchers propose that by optimising indoor lighting, sleep quality and well-being can be improved for this population.
Personally, I have no lights on and my iPhone is out of the room with an alarm on in another room to get me up!
The top tip to promote better sleep and well-being
Create a technology-free and serene sleep environment. Removing smartphones from the bedroom eliminates distractions and reduces exposure to stimulating content, facilitating a more restful sleep. Additionally, optimizing indoor lighting for a soothing and comfortable atmosphere can contribute to better sleep quality. By implementing these simple changes, individuals can experience improved sleep and overall well-being.
Chow, C. M. (2020). Sleep and Wellbeing, Now and in the Future. Editorial. Journal of Sleep Research, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Friedman, E. M. (2019). Sleep quality, social well-being, gender, and inflammation: An integrative analysis in a national sample. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1457(1), 98-112.
Gwyther, K., Rice, S., Purcell, R., Pilkington, V., Santesteban-Echarri, O., Bailey, A., & Walton, C. C. (2022). Sleep interventions for performance, mood and sleep outcomes in athletes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 58, 102094.
Hughes, N., & Burke, J. (2018). Sleeping with the frenemy: How restricting 'bedroom use' of smartphones impacts happiness and wellbeing. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 21(6), 382-387.
Sander, B., Markvart, J., Kessel, L., Argyraki, A., & Johnsen, K. (2015). Can sleep quality and wellbeing be improved by changing the indoor lighting in the homes of healthy, elderly citizens? Chronobiology International, 32(8), 1049-1060.
Schlarb, A.A., Friedrich, A., & Claßen, M. (2017). Sleep problems in university students – an intervention. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 13, 1989-2001.
Smith, M. G., Wusk, G. C., Nasrini, J., Baskin, P., Dinges, D. F., Roma, P. G., & Basner, M. (2021). Effects of six weeks of chronic sleep restriction with weekend recovery on cognitive performance and wellbeing in high-performing adults. Sleep, 44(8)
Walker, M. (2019, April). Sleep is Your Superpower [Video]. TED Conferences. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/matt_walker_sleep_is_your_superpower?utm_cam paign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare