Life demands performance. One of the most important things we can do to perform at our best is to get consistent, quality sleep. Going to bed each night at the same time, waking up at the same time every morning, and getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night is ideal. The pattern establishes a consistent circadian rhythm, promotes healthy sleep cycles, and improves physical and cognitive function. But using your cellphone just before you to bed undermines the quality of our sleep. Most people don’t even realize it, but cellphones constantly emit blue light and disrupt sleep cycles. As a result, your cellphone may damage your performance in both the boardroom and the bedroom. It may cause you more harm than you know.
Blue light is part of the light spectrum the human eye can see. It has a short wavelength, high energy, and significantly influences our wake and sleep pattern, known as the circadian rhythm. In the morning, the sun shines and tells our bodies to wake up and get to work. In the evening, the sun goes down, and the darkness tells our bodies it’s time to go to sleep.
Among all the colors in the light spectrum, blue light affects sleep the most, because it can influence the amount of melatonin your body produces. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by your brain when the sun goes down. It helps prepare the body for sleep. According to WebMD, “More so than any other color, blue light messes with your body’s ability to prepare for sleep because it blocks a hormone called melatonin that makes you sleepy.”
How Sleep Impacts Performance
According to Psychology Today, anxiety and depression, both side effects of insomnia and sleep deprivation, are known to cause sexual dysfunction for a variety of reasons, both physical and cognitive. When the body becomes stressed because of sleep difficulties, the brain suppresses the production of sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone in favor of stress hormones like cortisol. This shift in hormone levels can lead to decreased sex drive, infertility, or erectile dysfunction.
Furthermore, the University of Michigan Medical School found that the longer individuals slept, the more interested in sex they were the following day. Short sleep impacts almost every aspect of one’s overall health and well-being, and sexual health is certainly no exception.
Tips to Reduce Blue Light Exposure at Night
- Cut back screen time, starting 2-3 hours before bed. Put the phone and tablet in another room and charge them for the next day.
- Dim the brightness on your devices. Switch your settings to night mode or dark mode. It changes the background from white to black.
- Install blue light-filtering apps on your smartphone, tablet, and computer screens. These apps prevent some blue light from reaching your eyes without making it harder to see the display.
- Buy an alarm clock for your bedroom. Alarm clocks are inexpensive and won’t mess with your sleep. You can even find ones that allow you to program the alarm based on the day of the week.
Poor performance is the last thing anyone wants, especially in the bedroom. Your cellphone can damage your performance, but it doesn’t have to. By reducing your amount of blue light exposure after the sun goes down, you will sleep better. As a result, you will be healthier and perform at your best.
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