How Smartphones Affect Your Sleep

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Just one more Facebook like… one more Instagram notification… what about the unreplied texts on WhatsApp Messenger? I mean, you cannot sleep without replying that – that’s rude and you don’t want to be rude, do you? On and on the endless list of excuses goes on as you keep holding on longer to your device in bed.

Mind you; you’ve already switched off the lights so that you don’t have to make another trip to your switch assuming you don’t use Siri to control your lights. You’re at it again with your smartphone in bed even after deciding yesterday that it would be your last! Little do you know that this might be the very thing deterring you from having any meaningful sleep.

The Science Behind It

Laptops and smartphones will emit blue light which the brain interprets as daylight. This will confuse the brain into assuming it is still daytime and thus no need to shut down. This is done through suppressing melatonin – the hormone which affects circadian rhythm and is normally bound to increase as you prepare for bed. Scrolling through your screens during the day is just fine unlike at night where you risk confusing the brain that the sun is still out. This will make it way tougher for you to get some sleep.

We have now reached the peak of smartphones technology and devices, but more is yet to come. Experts go ahead to recommend popular light-regulating apps such as f.lux and Twilight. These produce a different kind of light that prepares the eyes and the brain for slumber. They have a wide range of color selection which you can either set to your preferences or automatically allow the apps to do that for you according to the time of day. Nonetheless, you might just as well abstain from any contact with blue light some 30-60 minutes before bed. You always have tomorrow to reply and check all those notifications popping up. Just make sure you turn off the Wi-Fi; you don’t want to add insult to injury, do you?

Other Disturbances

Light is not the only factor which will deter you from sleeping. Having your phone or laptop nearby will mean going online or engaging in other activities. It is a common behavior to find someone playing a game just before bed; we’ve all done it at one point or another. In fact, you might be having the highest rated mattress but still get to toss and turn each time some new message comes your way. What you need is a portion of self-control mixed with a cup of reason.

Playing games in bed or getting all social will stimulate your brain activities – just like coffee. You need to learn restraint as part of healthy pre-bed habits and do it in the long run. You can’t decide to keep away your phone and end up doing so for a week only. Old habits die hard and will take more than just will and strength of mind to keep away this drug from our beds. You need extra determination and actual efforts if you are to experience better nights. Medical blogs will advise you to go for sleep devices to better your sleep, but it’s more of what it is you do rather than what you don’t do that matters. Try doing it differently.

You might think you’re doing yourself a favor by bringing your office to your bedroom whenever you have unfinished work. All these distractions will only sum up to an uneventful night, and this translates to stressful days. You should start paying some attention to yourself and cutting yourself some slack. Achieve greater levels of productivity during the day and happier nights by doing something simple – keep your phone away.

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