Whether you like to admit it or not, your phone is probably glued to your hand. If it’s not in your hand, then it’s probably in your pocket, your handbag or within an arm’s reach at all times. With all the amazing things you can do with your phone it’s no wonder it’s always with you. However, to our detriment, the smart phone is a distraction that can harm your sleep in more ways than one.
Let’s look at three ways that your smart phone will hurt your sleep and what you can do about it.
Your Head Can’t “Turn Off”
Let’s say you are sitting in bed (right before it’s time to sleep) surfing the web or better yet, Pinterest. One thing leads to another and suddenly you’re on Facebook, then SnapChat, then looking at your photo album. After about ten minutes straight, your mind is reeling from all the new things and ideas you’re finding. This fires up your left side brain, which at this point is far from “turned off” as it should be. Once you shut down your phone and lay your head on the pillow, your brain is “running” leaving it impossible to calm down and drift off into a deep sleep. At the very least, it takes an extra 30 minutes to fall asleep due to your overactive brain.
Stress is Induced
This most frequently happens when checking your email right before bed. Maybe a client sent a nasty email or a co-worker forwarded a problem they can’t figure out. Whether you like it or not – it’s now in your brain.
Even looking at Facebook can give you unwanted stress. Maybe your best frenemy just posted some pics of their vacation to Cabo. You look better than her in a bathing suit. Of course you do. But now you’re going to brood about it before bed, and that’s not good for your sleep.
Blue Light is Bad for Your Brain
We all know this – and apparently so does Apple. They introduced a “night mode” option on your phone that gives your phone a yellow hue during the evening hours. The blue light from electronic devices triggers hormones in your brain that tell you it’s time to wake up. That’s why they say when you wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom you shouldn’t turn the light on. It’s harder to go back to sleep because your brain thinks it’s time to wake up when that bright white light hits your eyes.
How do You Fix the Phone Distraction?
You plug your phone in at least an hour before bed. The only time you check your phone before bed is maybe to set an alarm. Other than that, limit yourself to only a few apps right before bed. Don’t look at any apps that might trigger an emotional response. Save emotions for the morning – after you’ve had a restful night of sleep!