New research released this month has found that by engaging in this common activity, you are increasing your risk for early death. Apparently, exposure to light at night can have an extremely detrimental impact on your health. According to the study, if you use devices that emit blue light within five hours before bed (television, cell phones, computers, tablets, etc), you are at a higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

While this study was conducted on adults aged 63 to 84, it is important to remember that these conditions don't just appear overnight. They occur gradually over time. Moreover, 2019 research found that women as young as 35 will notice weight gain from this nightly habit.

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The National Sleep Foundation took a poll which found that 60% of Americans watch television before bed, but 90% of folks use some sort of electronic device in the hour prior to drifting off to dreamland. What is more notable is that they discovered that 75% of children engaged in this activity. For the parents pulling their hair out because their kids aren't going down easily, this may be why.

No matter what our age, health experts advise against binging your favorite programs in bed because it will not only make it harder to fall asleep, but it will disrupt sleep patterns throughout the night. How? First, using these devices stimulates our brains. Second, exposure to blue light has been shown to lessen your melatonin production. This is the natural hormone that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

While completely nixing this activity will pose difficult for most folks, it may be a good idea to lessen our time on electronics to promote better long term health outcomes. If you are someone like me who needs some sort of noise to go to sleep, consider investing in a noise machine or listening to a podcast before bed.

Additionally, if this is a routine that you can't break, then at least take the time to set up the sleep timer on your television each night. This will turn off the device after a certain period of time, exposing you to less of that melatonin stunting light.

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