A whopping 60% of Natural Sleep survey respondents reported using their smartphone before bed. While that number may seem insignificant, your smartphone actually has a huge effect on your sleep. To help you understand why you should abandon your phone in favour of a good book (at least in the evening!), we’ve shared four revealing ways your phone is ruining your rest.
1. Disrupted Sleep Cycles
Our bodies are prompted by changes in light levels to start preparing for bed. In the evening, they respond to the growing darkness by producing more melatonin. (This is a hormone that’s essential to a good night’s sleep.) However, when you use your smartphone at night, it can confuse your internal clock. The light phones emit are blue and green wavelengths, which mimics the sun and can trick your body into thinking it’s still light outside. This in turn disrupts your production of melatonin, which stops you getting the rest you deserve.
2. Noisy Notifications
If your phone rings at night, it’s probably going wake you up. An obvious solution to this is to keep our phones on silent while we sleep. However, what may surprise you is that even the low noise levels of your phone vibrating in silent mode can disrupt your rest. (Sounds as low as 30 decibels can interrupt sleep.) Even if you don’t wake up, it can drag you into a lighter phase of sleep, thus causing you to feel unrested in the morning. Avoid this by turning on the ‘do not disturb’ sign before falling asleep.
3. Emotional Responses
Whether you’re using your phone to read interesting articles, text a friend, or simply look up funny cat videos on YouTube, chances are you’re having an emotional response to the content you’re viewing. While this ordinarily wouldn’t be a bad thing, participating in exciting, or emotionally and intellectually demanding activities before bed can disrupt your rest. Studies show that this makes it harder to fall asleep, meaning it’s probably a better idea to put your phone away in the evening!
4. Flashing Screens
If you’ve followed our previous advice of putting your phone on the ‘do not disturb’ mode, and have put it away on the bedside locker, then good – you’re halfway to a good night’s sleep! However, it may surprise you to learn that even the small glow of your phone charging, or the screen lighting up from notifications, can disrupt your rest. As a result, we recommend either banishing phone’s from the bedroom completely, or keeping it out of sight and out of mind in a bedside drawer. If you need to charge it during the night, you could sneak the cord through the back of the bedside table.
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