Struggling to sleep? You’re not alone, as 22% of Britons feel the same way. Luckily, research has found a cure - spending time outdoors away from artificial light sources, such as your smartphone or laptop. Doing this can reset your biological clock and help you sleep longer.
“Blue Light” has been a commonly touted phrase by certain British press outlets, referring to backlit screens that actually suppress your body’s production of melatonin - a crucial hormone that helps you feel tired and sleepy. Without that, that tiredness goes away, so that late night Tinder swiping session could be more harmful than you think (minus the particular characters you get on there nowadays).
But the risks don’t just stop at feeling tired… Lack of sleep has also been linked to weight gain and getting into more accidents.
So what’s the fix? Go outside and leave those devices behind, according to the authors of a study recently published in Current Biology.
They tested this by firstly taking one party on a camping trip up the Rocky Mountains of Colorado for six days. One team were not allowed flashlights and electronics, whereas the others were. Saliva samples were taken and analysed during this time, to see how melatonin levels were affected.
This data was compared to their regular week at home and they found melatonin levels rise 2.5 hours sooner on the camping trip. Away from artificial light and in the wilderness, subjects slept two and a half hours longer.
After this, they did a like-for-like comparison by sending another five people up the Rocky Mountains and analysed five other people at home during the same time. The results, again, showed the benefit of an artificial light-free phase - with campers going to bed nearly two hours earlier.
It’s an eye-opening read and one that this blogger with a screen-filled life will learn from. But what if you have an allergy to camping (there are some of you out there)? Not to worry, just take a few hours away from your screens and enjoy the great outdoors over the weekend, and don’t use your phone just before going to sleep. Your brain will thank you for the extra rest!
I get it. We’re all scared in the wake of the tragedy in Westminster last Wednesday. Khalid Masood’s actions in committing this atrocity are truly reprehensible. But digital communication is not at fault, and adding an Orwellian level of surveillance is not the answer.
Broadband problems? Under new Ofcom proposals, you will no longer have to “fight tooth and nail” for the “fair compensation” you are owed. If approved, Internet Service Providers will automatically have to pay customers for bad broadband, delayed repairs and missed engineer appointments.
A car that rises up to drive over traffic… Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it is I’m afraid. While the Hum Rider is a real car, it’s simply a marketing stunt for Verizon.
Sex toys have taken another step forward with the Flashlight Launch - a masturbation machine that takes all the manual arm work out of reaching climax.
Snapchat story clones are cropping up everywhere in Facebook-owned apps and it’s not necessary. Would you ever want to post the same story across four different platforms? Or course not.
What is the future of wearables? I went to The Wearable Technology Show and found out - writing for BBC Science Focus magazine.
Forget everything you knew about smart homes and the Legend of Zelda… One particular fan has managed to create a home automation system that is controlled by playing the Ocarina.
Following the instant success of Pokémon GO in summer 2016, rumours began that developer Niantic was working on another game – simply named Harry Potter GO. This is fake news, so please stop sharing it.
A team of researchers have done something incredible yet terrifying - using sound waves to hack a smartphone, using a method that could be used to theoretically control any technology with an accelerometer.
I get it - the headline sounds terrifying. But Switzerland’s EPFL has just invented a medical masterpiece that could help to reinvent robotic healthcare. These gelatinous machines could soon be crawling around your insides and performing operations.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.