Thursday, May 19, 2022

How Does Phone Use Before Bedtime Affect Sleep (And How To Stop)

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Humans now are sleeping less than ever before, thanks to technology, artificial light, social and business demands that keep us awake.

Specifically, using your phone before bed has shown to interrupt the release of melatonin which results in insomnia and poor sleep.

How your phone is affecting your sleep, how to stop picking up your handheld devices before bedtime and the benefits of why you shouldn’t use your phone before bed can all be learnt here.

Blonde woman on her computer in her bed sat in darkness showing why you shouldn't go on your phone before bed

How your phone is affecting your sleep

Bluelight

Bluelight prevents your body from producing melatonin, the hormone which makes you sleepy.

This results in you not feeling as drowsy as you’d like and causes you to fall asleep much later.

Bluelight right before bed disrupts your internal body clock.

Reduces REM sleep

REM stands for rapid eye movement. REM sleep stimulates the areas of your brain that help with learning and increased production of proteins. This part of your sleep cycle is essential for the restoration of your mind and body.

REM sleep usually occurs 90 minutes after you’ve fell asleep but going on your phone right before shuteye can delay REM and as a result leave you feeling groggy and struggling to concentrate the next day.

Anxiety

Have you ever scrolled on Facebook before you’ve gone to sleep, seen something you’d rather not and then began to stress all night? Maybe you checked your emails just before bed and discovered an issue at work and now you can’t relax?

Checking social media, or any app for that matter right before you go sleep can leave you feeling emotional and unsettled, resulting in it taking you longer to go to sleep.

How to stop going on your phone before bed

Build up to it

Like waking up early, sometimes it can be difficult to go cold turkey and make drastic changes.

Start by not going on your phone 15 minutes before you go to sleep, then 30 minutes, 45 and then an hour.

You also can’t swap your phone for the TV, pull out a book, or spend time with a loved one.

Put your phone in another room

A simple habit that instantly solves your sleep problem.

I put it my phone on airplane mode and leave it on charge in the kitchen, so when I go to my phone in the morning I’m not bombarded with notifications and putting myself in a hyper-anxious state.

Read

If you don’t already read, this is a great time to start. If you do, it’s a great time to read more consistently.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives one” – George R.R. Martin. If this doesn’t persuade you to get into reading, I don’t know what will!

There’s no right or wrong between fiction or non-fiction.

woman in bed waking up and performing a morning stretch

Have I convinced you yet as to why you shouldn’t use your phone before bed? Below is just a snippet of the benefits you can expect.

3 benefits of not going on your phone before bed

Improved sleep quality

Removing blue light and toxic social media sites puts you in a relaxed state before going to sleep, allowing you to follow your natural circadian rhythm.

With improved sleep quality also comes a longer lifespan.

Check out this interesting podcast on The Joe Rogan Experience with Matthew Walker, a professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California talking all about the stages of sleep, dreams, implications from a lack of sleep, how to improve falling asleep and the evolution of sleep.

No stress when you wake up

You won’t be reaching for your phone as soon as your alarm has gone off and checking your emails or Instagram and seeing something you don’t want to.

You can implement a relaxed morning routine that’s just for you, a peaceful and tranquil time of reading, journaling, meditating, exercising, whatever you want to do (without your phone).

Reduce anxiety

If nothing else is tempting you to stop going on your phone before bed, the reduction in anxious thoughts and feelings should be the one to sell it to you.

Do you crave waking up and not feeling instant anxiety? Or would you love to go to sleep without all the mind chatter?

Getting rid of your phone before you go to sleep will do that for you.

Final thoughts

The pros far outweigh the cons as to why you shouldn’t use your phone before bed. Infact, the long-lasting health implications this can cause is enough to make anyone do a phone detox.

Good sleep is at the heart of our health. It’s something as humans we’ve always done and we’ve always needed, but now we fight to work the most hours to be seen as the ‘hustler’ and boast about only getting a couple of hours each night.

If you stopped brushing your teeth twice a day, every day, you wouldn’t see an impact straight away. But eventually, you’ll have racked up the most expensive bill at the dentist and you’ll probably hate your smile.

The point I’m making is that you won’t see the implications of poor sleep straight away, it could take years. Meanwhilst your health is deteriorating, and you won’t realise until it’s too late.

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