Here we are in 2019, we live in a technological age with phones, computers and almost everything at our fingertips. Many of us rely heavily on our phones and we spend a lot of time using them. Many of us mindlessly scroll just prior to going to sleep and a lot of us struggle to get to sleep. So what is the connection with our phone/computer to our sleep difficulties?
1. LED screens reduce hormones needed for sleep
Most of the smartphones these days have LED screens, these screens produce a ‘blue light’, which at the level it is produced at can reduce the amount of melatonin, a hormone required for putting you to sleep. Being exposed to this light 1 hour prior to sleep can delay the release of melatonin by 3 hours. This leads to that feeling of being “wired” and potentially difficulty getting to sleep.
2. Activating Content
Just like in life, we can come across things that activate or trigger our emotions on our phone. Two apps which have the ability to do this easily are Facebook & Instagram. Having 24 hour access to the lives of our friends, family and celebrities makes it simple to come across content that may pull on our heart strings or trigger something we haven’t yet dealt with. Coming across this whilst scrolling before bed-time may start a cascade of feelings and emotions, not to mention racing thoughts. Ultimately, this may affect your ability to get to sleep and also the quality of the sleep you have.
3. They wake you up!
Many of us sleep within arms reach of our mobile phone (or worse some sleep with their phone right under their pillow), and sleeping in such close proximity of our phones means it’s that much easier for our phones to wake us up. A simple ding from a late night email, or a quick buzz from a short vibrate is all it takes for some to wake up.
So if you feel like these issues relate to you here’s some ideas that can help to reduce phone use before bed and also improve your slumber:
- If you have an iPhone, set up ScreenTime on your phone. This function allows you to put locks on your phone at certain times so you can’t use it. It also shows your daily and weekly use and allows you to put time limits on app use.
- You can also get glasses which protect you from the ‘blue light’ which affects your melatonin release. One such brand is Baxter Blue Glasses.
- You can also set up a before-bed wellness ritual which includes activities such as reading, yoga or meditation. Allowing you to incorporate something beneficial into your schedule whilst also avoiding phone use. This will help you wind down and let your brain know it’s time for bed.
- You can keep you’re phone close by especially if you use it as an alarm, but why not put it on a table at the other side of the room instead? You’ll still be woken up by the repetitive ring of your alarm, but that single notification or vibrate wont wake you up from across the room. This will also be a good way to get out of bed instead of just snoozing your alarm.
If you’d like to improve your sleep and reduce your phone use please try the above tips. If you’re really keen to get a kick start we challenge you to a 30 Day Phone Detox, where you will avoid using your phone 1 hour before sleep and 30 mins to 1 hour after waking up. Change is all up to you!
If you are still struggling with sleep then there may be a serious underlying cause. Speak to one of our experienced naturopaths today to uncover the real reason why you’re struggling to sleep. Click here
to book an appointment and start sleeping better today!