Pew Research polls reveal that about two-thirds of adults aged over 30 years take their laptops or smartphones to bed with them.
We are hooked on technology more than ever.
An average working-age adult has a TV or computer installed permanently in the bedroom.
But, Is It Safe to Have a Computer in Your Bedroom?
No. Let’s start with the obvious – the likelihood that you’d trip on the extension cords or any other associated clutter. Computers generate a lot of heat too. Another thing is sleep deprivation. The blue light that normally emanates from screens is bad for your circadian rhythm (the normal human sleeping cycle). Several studies have been done on the subject, perhaps the most damning of all being the recent findings from the University of Toronto and Harvard. It was found that blue light inhibits the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for drowsiness.
Let’s get a little deeper:
1. Computers keep you awake, inducing stress
Electronics like computers and smartphones are never quiet.
Tons of other studies have shown that staring at your screen shortly before bedtime is a bad idea if you want to wake up early for work.
Besides the visual distraction, you may be forced to contend with sounds and notifications that may interrupt your sleep as well.
Unless you shut down your computers or put them on hibernation mode, the constant humming sound of the cooling fans may delay your sleep.
Having the computer right next to your bedside can tempt you to interrupt your sleep often to check a notification or the progress of a process, maybe a download that won’t complete on time.
So, not only do computers – and even TVs, if you have one – in your bedroom keep you up late into the night, but also disrupt your sleep cycles.
This makes it hard to adjust to normal sleeping patterns even without them.
You need more sleep and deep rest at night if you want to be productive the following day.
2. What you think last and first matters
Your evenings should be time to meditate, assess, and evaluate the concluding day.
This self-examination lets you learn from your mistakes and appreciate the wins of the day.
Though common, the worst thing you could do in the evenings is to entertain yourself and switch to other engaging tasks.
This can involve disappearing into your bedroom to watch TV or complete a project on your computer.
The same thing applies to mornings – your first thoughts in the morning can determine the rest of your day.
Your morning should start with a clear mind.
Allowing your computer to guide your thoughts in the morning introduces you to things you aren’t ready to attend to yet. But, what if it blots the canvas with ugly marks?
For that reason, you should choose carefully what starts your morning thoughts rather than let the electronics do it for you.
One of the best ways around this is to keep computers and TVs out of your bedroom.
3. More clutter could mean bad sex
Yes – computers can ruin your sex life just as bad as TVs does.
If you like to work on your computer late into the night before retiring to bed, chances are your sex drive has dropped quite considerably without your knowledge.
The same applies to any other distraction you could bring in the room.
Also, computers add clutter that you don’t want to see in your sleeping space.
Think printers, cables, power cord extensions, keyboards, and even the computer itself.
All these can bite a big chunk of your bedroom. I haven’t met anyone who actually enjoys having more clutter hanging around in their rooms.
4. Serve as an example for your kids
Do you discourage your kids from carrying food and electronics into their bedrooms?
This sounds like something any parent would do. If you do, then you’d definitely want to lead by example.
Bringing stuff like TVs and laptops into the bedroom has been associated with increased consumption of junk food and obesity.
Having a computer in your bedroom may lead your children into thinking it’s cool to have distractive electronics in their sleeping rooms.
5. Insomnia and delayed sleep can take a toll on your productivity and overall health
The longer you stay in front of the computer, the less time you dedicate to sleeping and the likelier your next day will be interrupted.
You will be surprised by how sustained insomnia can get between your daytime schedules.
Even worse, sleep deprivation is associated with poor learning and impaired cognition.
In the long run, the person starts to experience impaired memory and decision making, fatigue, and a range of many other health problems.
6. Computers make your bedroom hot
This depends on the age of your machine and the conditions of the room.
Older computers are prone to develop overheating issues. Desktop computers come with a giant fan at the rear.
This fan must blow the entire time the machine is in operation to keep the processor cool.
It may keep blowing even if you are not using the machine unless you adjust to sleep or hibernate modes depending on the OS of your choice.
The problem, however, is that all the heat escaping the processor must be blown into the atmosphere and fresh air sucked into the machine.
This normally causes the room to get hot and uncomfortable. Unless you have an air conditioner in the bedroom, you might never be able to sleep in it.
7. Dirty computer fans make your bedroom dusty
Besides the heating issues, computer fans can turn your bedroom into a dusty hell depending on the time they stay there, unmaintained.
You know the fan is dirty when, besides the unexplained increase in the dust on your bedroom furniture, the humming sound gets louder than usual.
That’s because the fan has to operate at higher speeds than usual to cool the processor.
The fan has to run at higher speeds to cool the machine. As the fan blows fresh cold air into the machine, it carries all the finer debris floating in the room with it: hair, dead skin, paper, etc. the debris ends up on the fins of the fan and other parts of the power box.
8. Associating your Bedroom with other activities isn’t good either
The bedroom should be dedicated to sleeping, not to serve as an extension of your home office.
Setting up a workstation in the bedroom by bringing a computer does worse than interfere with your sleeping patterns.
The more work and material things your mind associates your bedroom with, the less likely it will think about sleep at the right time.
Once you get comfortable working from the bedroom, you will find yourself incorporating more and more activities in the room.
Is it safe to have a computer in your bedroom? You don’t want to do that.
There’s a likelihood you will sustain injuries or even damage your property if you trip on the extension cords and the associated clutter. Also, computers generate a lot of heat.
Another thing is sleep deprivation. The blue light that normally emanates from screens is bad for your circadian rhythm, hence insomnia.
The only electronic device you should bring in the bedroom is a smartphone.
Phones too should be put on silence mode and kept out of hands once you lie on the bed to rest.