Your smartphone may help keep you organized, connected, and entertained throughout the day, but is it getting in the way of you getting a good night's rest? With the constant distractions, noisy alerts, and the glare of the screen you had better believe that your smartphone is the culprit in your lousy night's rest. There are three big reasons why you should set your phone aside for at least an hour before you head to sleep: blue light, playing on your phone, and phone alerts.
Blue light does not refer to light that is cast through a blue gel or lightbulb, but rather shortwave light that can have a blue tint to it naturally. LED bulbs and the light from most smartphones is considered blue light, though some phones do come with blue light toggles that soften the light to longer wavelengths. The light that is visible to humans occurs in the wavelengths between 400-700 nanometers. If a light has a wavelength of under 500 nanometers, then it is considered shortwave or blue light and the energy that it gives off is what keeps you awake.
As the sun begins to set, the wavelengths become longer and stop stimulating you, which allows your body to start to produce melatonin - a chemical that helps you fall asleep. If you continue to use your phone without some kind of blue light toggle to turn it off, then your body will not produce melatonin. It will not start producing melatonin until you have laid down in bed and put your phone aside, which means it can take you a lot longer to fall asleep and interrupts your natural circadian rhythm.
By putting your phone away at least an hour before you need to go to bed your body is able to begin the production of melatonin, and you will be able to get to sleep much easier than if you checked your phone last thing before shutting your eyes for the night.
Have you ever played a game on your phone or computer so much that when you stopped playing it, your brain is still engaging in the patterns? For instance, you are still trying to match things, placing Tetris bricks into real-world scenarios, or convinced you can leap over the couch. This is called the “Tetris Effect,” and you can end up closing your eyes to go to sleep and see Tetris bricks falling behind your eyelids, or words to be matched, or Sims to be cared for and this can end up keeping you awake. Games, news stories, constant social media scrolling, and chats with friends are all stimulating and can end up keeping you awake and making it difficult to fall asleep. Limiting time on electronics and doing something simple like reading from a book (where there are no pings and alerts) can help you fall asleep.
Having your phone next to your bed may work well for waking up in the morning with an alarm, but it can also keep you awake. If you have people texting you, social media or game alerts set up, or email notifications; then you can end up being woken up by rings, dings, and buzzes all night long. You can silence your phone so that the alarm still works and that your phone will ring if someone calls you, but you will not receive notifications while sleeping.
Our phones are excellent tools that help us organize our lives, connect with friends and family, work smarter, and have fun. They can also be detrimental to our sleep health. Consider putting your phone away before bed. If you want to make your sleep even better, then you need to invest in a great mattress. The Pause & Sleep team offer the best memory foam mattress possible to help you achieve the sleep of your dreams. Browse our website today for the best online mattress in Canada!
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