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Put the Phone Down: 5 Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

Put the Phone Down: 5 Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

In this day and age, it is unimaginable to live without a phone. People are so fond of using their mobile devices in many ways to make life easy and convenient. A few taps or clicks can already give so much information, entertainment, and even the much-needed connection with people, especially now amid a pandemic lockdown. However, on the flip side, phone dependency or using your cellphone in bed may also cost you some unfavorable quality of sleep at night.

Most people nowadays have this reflex and tendency to reach for their phones late at night while lying on their beds, assuming it will help them reach the right amount and level of sleepiness to cap off the day. But, that’s not how it goes for everyone.

Studies have shown that phone attachment before sleeping at night is not actually good for our overall health and here are two reasons why:

Blue Light Makes Your Mind Alive, Strains the Eyes

Your trusted gadgets like your smartphone, tablet, and even your laptop all emit some type of light known as blue light. This blue light technology reduces the melatonin levels or the hormones responsible for making you feel sleepy at night. Because it keeps you all up alive, it then shifts the regulation of your sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm). This also compromises the actual level of “rest” the body receives, as well as your alertness level.

The more frequently you unlock your phone during the night, the more it activates your mind to be thinking of information or doing other things that you think you need to do even with your phone at a wee hour. Your brain actually gets alerted the same way that your phone lights up whenever there is a new pop-up notification or update.

Long hours fixated on the screen can also give you some strain in the eyes, sometimes making it teary and watery as well.

cellphone in bed

Screen Time Decreases Total Amount of Sleep

Generally speaking, people should be sleeping for at least 8-10 hours a day, about at least one-third of the total number of hours allocated for a day. However, being awake at night limits the amount of time you may be spending in slow-wave and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, both of which are critical for cognitive performance.

5 Tips on How to Have Healthy, Restful Sleep

You can avoid poor quality sleep by refraining from using your cellphone in bed and doing the following tips:

  • Use the nighttime mode feature on your phone. Dimming the blue light your phone emits not only helps you save up your battery percentage, but also prevents you from feeling more awake than you are supposed to during the night.
  • Follow a bedtime routine. Stimulating yourself to go to sleep by making yourself feel relaxed and comfortable through positive daily habits is recommended to have a calm mind and body before going to bed.
  • Dim/Turn off your bedroom lights. Again, lights have the tendency to widen one’s eyes and brighten up one’s mind. Controlling your light fixtures at night allows you to also generate the melatonin levels your body needs to better regulate your biological clock.
  • Decrease your screen time for both day and night. One major culprit to losing track of time and the number of hours of sleep is a person’s phone dependency on nearly anything and everything it could do. Enable your phone to a screen time management system that could alert you when you have already consumed the responsible amount of screen time for the day.
  • Put your phone down 30 minutes to an hour before going to bed. Prepare yourself to enjoy your sleep by keeping your phone away from your bedside, so you would not grab it in the middle of the night.

Key Takeaway

Sleep and technology are two important things you need in life nowadays. But, it is important to know when it is time to use your phone or when it is time to avoid using your cellphone in bed and catch some sleep. Utilize both sleep and technology wisely, so it would also not bring any negative effect to your health and your working capacity the next day.

Learn more about Healthy Sleep here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

How Does Technology Affect Sleep? https://www.sleep.org/ways-technology-affects-sleep/, Accessed September 13, 2021

How Electronics Affects Sleep, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-electronics-affect-sleep, Accessed September 13, 2021

Put the Phone Away! 3 Reasons Why Looking at It Before Bed Is a Bad Habit, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/put-the-phone-away-3-reasons-why-looking-at-it-before-bed-is-a-bad-habit/Accessed September 13, 2021

Why It’s Time to Ditch the Phone Before Bed, https://www.sclhealth.org/blog/2019/09/why-it-is-time-to-ditch-the-phone-before-bed/, Accessed September 13, 2021

Technology & Sleep, https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/technology-sleep.html, Accessed September 13, 2021

Screen time & Sleep:Children and Teenagers, https://raisingchildren.net.au/preschoolers/play-learning/screen-time-healthy-screen-use/screen-time-sleepAccessed September 13, 2021

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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated 2 weeks ago
Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD