I’m not even going to go near my sanctimonious soap box on this one because I am an A-grade offender when it comes to scrolling through social media on my phone, in bed, when I should be winding down to sleep. If I’m completely honest, I’m not above watching Netflix on my phone. Go ahead, judge me.
It’s only in the last decade(-ish) or so that integrating smartphones into our daily lives has become the norm, so much so that if you’re a certain age, you’re going to struggle to recall what life was like before them.
It’s a no brainer that this constant scrolling is going to take a toll on our sleep, but why is that?
The constant checking social media and texting means compulsively refreshing, checking, responding, reading, scrolling, posting, clicking, or playing. We can literally spend hours doing nothing of value for the sake of a bit of stimulation, so much so that bedtime can be delayed and we miss out on the much-needed number of hours needed to rest.
If you think you don’t spent “that much time” on your phone, I invite you to install Screen Time which gives you a full breakdown each day of how you spend your time on your phone.
Let there (not) be light
There are many studies on the effect of the artificial light from phones and tablets on our ability to fall asleep. Put simply, it messes with our circadian rhythm.
Keep the phone in the bedroom
One of the most common reasons for keeping a phone in the bedroom (or even right next to the bed) is that the alarm function is convenient.
However, having them so close to hand means we can check them if we happen to wake up during the night. This is made even more likely if you don’t put it on silent and rings, alerts, alarms, or lights grab our attention.
Tips for better sleep (that don’t involve your phone):
- Leave your phone in the lounge or kitchen to charge overnight.
- Take the hour or two before bed time to relax by reading (a book!), listening to relaxing music, pursuing a hobby or meditating.
- Buy an alarm clock if you have to be up at a specific time.
- Make your bedroom a good sleep environment – do not keep a TV or exercise equipment in your bedroom. Make sure you’ve cleared away clutter to make it as relaxing as possible.