Sleep seems to be a common issue among people these days. While there is multiple reasons why you may not be getting a good nights sleep, let’s consider your smartphone. Do you recognize how detrimental screen time before bed is to your sleep?
You may want to consider changing this nighttime routine. Not convinced yet? I’ll let you know why you should break this habit.
It will take you longer to fall asleep
According to a study by Harvard researchers, it will take you an extra 10 minutes longer to fall asleep if you are using any blue-light emitting screen. Yes, that includes an E-reader. Try to read a physical book before you go to bed at night rather than being on your phone. You’ll feel sleepier quicker and fall asleep more quickly.
Your circadian clock rhythm will be delayed
So much of your body function relies on health, well-synced circadian rhythm (often referred to as your “body-clock”). Your metabolism, mood, appetite, risk of disease and more depend on this. When you use artificial light at night, especially the blue kind from your devices, your brain gets confused and messes up this important clock in your body.
Your melatonin secretion will be suppressed when you need it
If you don’t know what melatonin is, it’s a key chemical in your body for promoting deep sleep. It’s also linked to promoted the health of your brain. Even low levels of light can decrease the production of melatonin. Imagine what the blaring blue light is doing to your brain. The brighter the light, the more your melatonin is affected, thus, affecting the quality of your sleep.
Decrease in REM sleep
REM is the stage of sleep that restores your mind and body – it’s the more important stage of sleep. REM solidifies memories and is tied to your creative and problem-solving skills. If you don’t get enough REM, you may feel groggy and unfocused the next day. Blue light will take REM sleep away from you, as it over activates your brain, making it harder to reach REM, and stay in it.
You will have more difficulty falling asleep
It’s a bad cycle. You stay up on your phone, but when you want to go to bed, your brain doesn’t. Laying in bed and starring at your phone is actually waking your brain up. That means kicking yourself in the morning when you have to wake up but your brain is still in sleep mode.
You’ll be tired and able to concentrate when you awake
What’s worse after a bad night of sleep and feeling groggy all the next day? Reading a printed book compared to a device will help you wake up faster and feel more alert when you wake up the next day.
Make it a habit to set your phone down an hour to two hours before you fall asleep at night. You’ll see improved sleep quality and mood the next day. The screen is not your friend when it comes to getting a good nights rest. If you have to, put your phone on the other side of the room and find a good book to read nightly. Sweet dreams!