By Alesandra W., 10x Guest Writer
Picture this: You’ve had a long day at work, your kid/dog/SO has been driving you crazy, and all you want to do is snuggle up in your comfortable bed and get a good night’s sleep. To help you “wind down,” you scroll through Facebook or check out what’s trending on Reddit.
In a recent study about phone usage at night, nearly 77% of respondents admitted to logging into social media apps before dozing off to sleep. And while this activity might seem like it helps you wind down, it’s actually doing the opposite.
The blue-and-white light emitted from devices like your smartphone, tablet, and even the TV prevents your brain from releasing melatonin. This is the hormone that helps you fall asleep. So think about your electronic devices as a shield that inhibits your brain and body from feeling tired.
What’s worse is that experts recommend waiting at least 30 minutes after using technology before trying to fall asleep. So the amount of time you’re spending scrolling through apps in bed, and the closer to bedtime you’re using technology, the more quality sleep time you’re missing out on.
Let’s break it down like this: If you spent 35 minutes browsing through Reddit in bed, then account for the 30-minute digital detox period, you could be costing yourself 65 minutes of precious sleep a night. While technology is great for many things, helping you fall sleep is not one of them.
So what should you be doing before bed to help you catch better ZZZs? Here are some tips:
- Shut down your tech early as part of your bedtime routine. You don’t necessarily need to eliminate the use of technology at night – just try not to make a habit of glancing at your phone or watching TV too close to bedtime.
- Pick up a page turner. Whether the content is for business or pleasure, reading before bed (particularly on paper) can help calm your nerves and help you fall asleep faster.
- Try bedtime yoga. Even if you’re not a yogi, you can try simple moves that are calming and effective in helping you fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Talk to your significant other. Yes, we said it. Put down whatever it is that’s distracting you and have a good old-fashioned conversation before bed. You might be surprised at how positive this can be for your sleep and your relationship.
We get it – it’s hard not to stay glued to your technology throughout the day. But breaking this habit around bedtime can work wonders for your sleep and health.
Not sure you’re ready to ditch the screens before bed? Try simply using it less for starters and see what happens.
If you liked this article, you might enjoy reading Top 20 Efficiency Apps & Hacks to Increase Productivity: Part 1