Sleeping is an effortless pleasurable experience. However, words like sleep deprivation and sleep debt are an integral part of modern man’s lexicon. Change in lifestyle has brought about a change in sleep patterns. Too much or too less sleep can have long term harmful effects on the physical, mental and emotional well being of a person.
Certain external factors are responsible for affecting the sleep patterns of an individual.
Sleeping and Electronic Media
Adolescents often like to have a television in their bedroom. Watching movies till late in the night or playing video games or remaining in online chat rooms disturbs their biological clock. Going to bed late makes them irritable and sleepy throughout the day.
Effect of Light
Long and direct exposure to light hampers sleep pattern. Our eyes have “light sensitive” cells in the retina. The rods and cones present in the retina make the vision possible. The “light sensitive” cells present there aid the brain by telling it whether it is day or night.
The neurotransmitters emitted by the brain cells act as an indicator for the body. The sleep pattern is set accordingly. Australian teenagers, like others too have long exposure to hand held digital devices. These, scientists claim, affect their sleep patterns.
Effect of Electric Bulb
The sleeping habits of our ancient forefathers were dictated by the natural light. The invention of electric bulb in the 19th century has enhanced one’s exposure to artificial light.The new pattern of light exposure has set the sleep pattern accordingly.