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“Vamping”, abuse of technology before bedtime

“Vamping, i.e. using new technologies before going to sleep, has negative effects on health because
the light of the screens affects the quality of sleep and our performance”, explains Dr. Ángela Milán, neurologist of the Sleep Unit of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra.

The problem of using screens before going to sleep lies in the short-wave blue light emitted by these electronic devices. To fall asleep, our body secretes melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. The brain begins to produce this hormone approximately two hours before we go to sleep.

“However, if we use electronic devices with light, the brain understands that it is still daylight and does not secrete this hormone, since light stops production, so we delay the onset of sleep and sleep fewer hours, what we call technological insomnia,” explains the specialist of the Sleep Unit in which 625 sleep studies were conducted last year 2018.

“Vamping is a new phenomenon that has been increasing in recent years, especially in adolescents, but also in children, who have younger and younger mobile phones,” she adds. In fact, several studies show that the lack of sleep caused by the use of screens hurts children to a greater extent, as melatonin production is reduced up to 90% more than in adults.

Screen Light Increases Appetite and Influences Weight
In addition to influencing the quantity and quality of sleep, the altered secretion of melatonin influences appetite.

“The light from the screens inhibits the production of melatonin, thus increasing the production of neuropeptides, which stimulates our appetite and appetite for more fatty foods and sweets. Therefore, if we do not respect our sleep cycles and, in addition, we use screens before sleeping, we alter the natural process, so we are hungrier, we crave more sweets and, therefore, we gain more weight,” says Dr. Maria Alija, pediatric endocrinologist.

“Various studies show that sleeping between three and five hours less than usual leads to consuming 385 more calories a day, which leads to weight gain if it occurs over time,” she adds.

“As a fact to take into account, today, we sleep seven hours, while in the 60’s, the average of
was a nine-hour dream,” he explains. In addition, the reduction in hours of sleep causes fatigue to increase and, therefore, we will not be as active, something that, in the long term, will also affect weight.

“When we sleep, not only the number of hours, but the quality of our sleep at all stages is important. Specialists say it is necessary to rest properly to perform effectively, think clearly, settle the memory and react with agility. But, in addition, optimal sleep prevents from suffering diseases such as heart attacks, strokes or depressions,” adds Dr. Elena Urrestarazu, a specialist in the Sleep Unit.

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