How Smartphones Influence Your Sleep and What You Can Do About It
The advent of smartphones has revolutionized the way we live, work, and connect with others. These pocket-sized devices have become an integral part of our lives, with most of us glued to our screens throughout the day.
However, the excessive use of smartphones, especially before bedtime, can have a profound impact on our sleep quality.
In this blog, we'll delve into the ways smartphones affect our sleep.
Blue Light and Melatonin Suppression
The allure of smartphones lies in their bright and vibrant screens, but this captivating display comes with a hidden cost - the suppression of melatonin.
As the sun sets, our bodies naturally produce melatonin, signaling to our brains that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
However, when we expose ourselves to the blue light emitted by smartphones, this production is significantly reduced, delaying our sleep onset.
Increased Stress and Anxiety
Smartphones have become a constant source of notifications, demanding our attention even during moments of rest.
The fear of missing out and the constant pressure to stay connected can lead to heightened stress and anxiety levels, especially right before bedtime.
It's essential to create boundaries between ourselves and our devices, establishing designated tech-free zones and timeframes to promote relaxation and peace of mind.
Sleep Disruptions from Notifications
Sleep is a delicate balance, and even minor disturbances can disrupt its natural rhythm.
Late-night notifications that ping or buzz can jolt us awake, fragmenting our sleep and reducing its overall quality.
To prevent these disruptions, consider putting your phone on silent or "Do Not Disturb" mode before bedtime.
If you're concerned about missing emergencies, allow only essential contacts to bypass these settings.
Smartphones have a far-reaching impact on your health than you can imagine. Here’s a glimpse of how it affects your sleep.
The temptation to scroll through our social media feeds or respond to that last email can be challenging to resist.
Unfortunately, this indulgence can lead to a delayed bedtime, stealing precious minutes or even hours from our sleep.
To address this, try setting an alarm that reminds you to start winding down and establish a nightly routine to signal your body that it's time to rest.
Overstimulation Before Bed
In the quiet hours before sleep, our brains should be unwinding and preparing for rest. However, engaging in stimulating content on our smartphones, such as action-packed videos or heated discussions, keeps our minds active and alert.
To promote a smooth transition to sleep, opt for calming activities that encourage relaxation, such as reading a book or practising gentle stretches.
The quality of our sleep matters as much as the quantity. Even if we manage to fall back asleep after a late-night notification, the cycle of waking and returning to sleep can lead to sleep fragmentation.
Over time, this can result in feelings of fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and a general sense of unrest.
To combat sleep fragmentation, address any underlying stress or anxiety, and minimize nighttime disruptions by placing your phone away from the bed.
Strategies to Minimize Smartphone-Induced Sleep Disruptions
Here are a bunch of steps you can take to slowly break free from smartphone usage before bed and to ensure you experience deep sleep.
Establish a Digital Curfew
Creating a digital curfew sets boundaries and allows you to disengage from your smartphone at a specific time each night.
By doing so, you give your mind the opportunity to unwind and signal to your body that it's time to prepare for sleep.
Instead of mindlessly scrolling through your device, use this time to engage in calming activities or spend quality time with loved ones.
Use Night Mode or Blue Light Filters
Modern smartphones come equipped with features like "Night Shift" mode, which reduces the amount of blue light emitted by the screen during the evening.
Activating this feature can help preserve your natural sleep-wake cycle by minimizing the disruptive effects of blue light on melatonin production.
Additionally, various apps are available that apply blue light filters to your screen, even during the daytime.
Charge Your Phone Outside the Bedroom
By charging your phone outside the bedroom, you create a physical boundary between yourself and your device.
This simple act can deter you from checking your phone during the night, reducing the risk of sleep disruptions from late-night notifications.
Instead, invest in a traditional alarm clock to wake you up in the morning.
Set App Limits
Many smartphones now offer app-limiting features that allow you to set time restrictions on certain applications.
By using these settings, you can control the time you spend on social media, gaming, or other apps that might interfere with your sleep.
Limiting your screen time can also free up more time for other activities, such as reading or spending quality time with loved ones.
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