Smartphones: Ruining Your Sleep Without You Even Realizing It
Written by: Lindsay Sibson
Do you think you could live a year without a cell phone?
Could you even fathom it?
Well, I did. For 16 months, actually, while I was traveling throughout Europe – and let me tell ya, it was kind of nice. No texting, no notifications, no distractions… unless I chose to connect to wifi and “check in.”
As much as having a cell phone would have saved me from getting lost MANY times, it felt quite liberating to be free from the “responsibility” of a smart phone.
Let’s face it. Most of us are addicted to our phones (me too, at times). I guarantee that if you go to a busy public place, you will undoubtedly see folks puttering around with their eyes glued to their phone screens.
Not only is your phone taking your attention away from living in the moment, it is also having a negative impact on your health by interfering with your sleep – this is especially true if you use your phone at night.
The Dangers Of Smartphone Use At Night
Your smartphone emits a bright blue light, which allows your to read what’s on the screen no matter what time of day it is or how bright your environment is.
The problem is that this light doesn’t adjust or turn off depending on the hour of the day, which means that it is continually emitted. Unfortunately, blue light is also emitted by your laptop and television!
So, what is the big deal about checking your Facebook or watching some Game of Thrones at night?
Here is the issue with this type of light:
- It mimics the brightness of the sun and confuses your brain into thinking it is daytime.
- Melatonin is the hormone which induces sleep.
- It is released by your pineal gland, a tiny organ in your brain, a couple of hours prior to sleep.
Even More Dangerous For Teens
There have been many studies conducted to explore the science of why the blue light that is emitted by smartphones (and other devices) keeps your awake.
What is even more alarming is that the impact of blue light is even more detrimental for teenagers. Younger people are more vulnerable to the effects of light than adults because the circadian rhythms of teenagers naturally shift during their adolescence. As a result, this can cause them to feel more awake in the late nighttime hours.
Combine that with exposure to blue light and sleepiness and bedtime could be delayed for another few hours. Let’s not even get into how difficult it is to wake up a teenager!
How To Save Your Sleep
- Limit Your Screen Time Before Bed
- Turn off ALL screens (blue light) at least 2 hours before you want to fall asleep.
- Download an app that adjusts the color of your screen to the time of day, such as f.lux.
- Brighter during the day, warmer tones at night.
- Cuts down exposure to blue light.
- Healthy Nighttime Alternatives
- Read a book.
- Write in a journal.
- Express your gratitude (either to your partner or in a journal).
- Sip a cup of herbal tea.
- Give yourself a foot massage.
Whether you use your phone at night or not, taking a break from staring at a screen at any point of the day will help bring you into the NOW and give your eyes a break!
By cutting down on screen time TODAY, you will start developing healthier sleep habits, which means you will get better rest tonight!
Lindsay Sibson turned her lifelong dream of traveling the world into a reality when she first stepped on a plan in April of 2014. With the simple intention of learning more about this beautiful world, she stepped away from corporate America to explore an alternative lifestyle of long term international travel, volunteering, blogging and pursuing a blissfully happy and fulfilling way of life.
Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life. Connect with her on her website and follow her travels on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/_traveloholic_).
Through her blog, Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life.
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