Should I turn my phone off?
As I’m sure you’re aware, we’re all addicted to our phones. You, me, our friends, their kids, everyone. Like with everything, there are pros and cons, and you need to be aware of those cons. Did you know that 1 in 3 American adults has trouble sleeping? Whether it’s falling asleep, staying asleep, or even trouble waking up. One of the causes? That bright screen that stimulates your brain, which doesn’t allow your body to properly shut down when you close your eyes.
“Photoreceptors in the retina sense light and dark, signaling our brain about the status of the outside world and aligning our circadian rhythms …. This signaling of light and dark helps us to be alert in the morning and be able to fall asleep at the appropriate time at night. The power of light… is easily conceptualized when we think of the sun, but may be more difficult to appreciate when considering the light emitted from a tablet or smartphone. Nonetheless, careful studies have shown that even our small electronic devices emit sufficient light to miscue the brain and promote wakefulness.” Source
So what’s an easy way to use less phone time before bed? Well, the most direct is to turn it off at least an hour before bedtime. But if like many others you have some trouble breaking that addiction, you can try these simple tips throughout the day:
1. Try to not react every time you hear an incoming alert or notification. Turn off the notifications and instead try checking after a certain period of time. (we need to actually retrain our brains.) Start with 15 minutes, then 30, and continue to a time that feels comfortable to you.
2. Try keeping your phone out of sight– if it’s out of sight, then it’s out of mind. Maybe in a drawer or another room, but the less you see it the less of a need you will feel to constantly check it.
3. If you absolutely MUST check your phone before bed, turn on the night light setting which emits a yellow light instead of blue light. The yellow light isn’t nearly as stimulating.
4. If you do keep your phone by your bed, turn it onto airplane so you won’t hear if a text or alert comes through. It’s hard to wake up to one of those obnoxious sounds, become blinded by light and immediately drop back into REM sleep. it’s actually pretty much impossible.
Pretty simple, maybe not the easiest, but it’s definitely doable. I am always trying to break that phone addiction, but some days are better than others. Life’s a cycle though, amIright? Do you feel the need to constantly check your phone? If you do, why do you think that is?
I feel like I’m always checking it out a slight sense of anxiety, like I NEED to know if something happened; if I got an important email, or some amazing news.. even though I don’t need to check it right then, I can wait and it will still be there. Maybe it’s also caused from a lack of excitement in my own life… maybe? Who knows.