Mobile phones are a big part of our lives these days, to the point where we are getting too much screen time at night. To some people, it feels like life and death if going anywhere without it. Have you ever left your phone at home and had to go back because you couldn’t go a day without it?
Well, you are not the only one, as most people do go back and get their phones. This includes me, even if it will make me late to my destination. Our phones have become a part of our everyday necessities that we can’t leave the house without. Wallet, keys, and phone are all-inclusive.
Most of us would like to get to bed and just go to sleep, but our phones distract us big time. This is even if we are super tired. Deciding that you are going to sleep at 10 but end up going to sleep at 1 am because of scrolling on Facebook for 2 hours.
The problem is that you end up getting too much screen time before bed. When you aren’t sleepy, the first thing you want to do is pick up your phone and check out social media.
Being on your phone while laying in bed would actually help you get to sleep, right?. You’re already tired, so you think that looking at your phone is going to make you even more tired.
It does the complete opposite however, making you more alert instead of sleepy. Scrolling is more of a distraction if anything. You are actively engaging by commenting, liking, posting, and reacting to what you are seeing on your phone.
This keeps you awake and your mind engaged when you should be winding down. The crazy thing is that we can be so into our phones that we don’t even notice the amount of time that’s passing by!
Being on your phone at night has become a habit for most and with any habit, it can be tough to break. You have been on autopilot. Every night you scroll on your phone for 1 to 2 hours before actually getting to sleep.
Checking out who posted new pictures, new movie trailers that just came out, or looking up activities to do on the weekend.
Feeling groggy and sluggish the next morning because of missing out on those 2 hours of sleep. The rest of the day is hard to get through because you’re tired from the night before.
A study on phone use
In 2016 the Academy of Family Physicians of India did a study on 435 Saudi adults ages 21 and above. This study was about bedtime, phones, and sleep quality.
The results were that 98% of participants owned a smartphone, and 9 out of 10 used their phones at bedtime (mostly on social media). The conclusions suggest that people who use their phones more at bedtime have more of a risk of poor sleep quality.
These tables show the number of smartphones that are used at bedtime and the amount of time used on them. As you can see from the 2 tables, most of the participants used their phones every day for more than 15 minutes.
This table shows the sleep quality of the participants based on the amount of time that they used on their phones at bedtime. Spending time on their phones at night affected all of their sleep, and the more time spent decreased the quality of sleep.
Check out how to sleep better at night:
- Set an alarm on your phone for winding down. If your bedtime is 10 pm, set your alarm for 9 pm to stop using your phone an hour ahead. You can listen to music, get your clothes and lunch ready for work tomorrow, anything that doesn’t involve being on your phone.
An alarm at night is just as helpful as it is in the morning. Instead of waking you up, it will let you know that it is time to put your phone away. To wind down for the night and focus on getting a good night’s rest.
- Turn your notifications off. Seeing notifications pop up on your phone makes it harder to fight the urge to check them. Checking your notifications leads to you checking other things on your phone when you should be sleeping.
- Charge your phone away from your bed. This makes it out of reach for you to roll over and grab it, helping you to go right to sleep because you don’t have your phone next to you to pick up.
If you use for phone for waking up in the morning, make sure that it isn’t so far away that you won’t be able to hear it. You just need it far enough so that you aren’t able to reach it and you don’t want to get out of bed to get it.
- Read a book instead. It can be hard to get reading time in because of being so busy throughout the day. Swap out your phone time with reading time. You get your reading done for the day and you are exercising your brain in a positive way.
Reading is relaxing as well because you can focus your mind on the story that you are reading. Rather than the worries of your everyday life, which can keep you up at night.
- Meditating is a good way to fall asleep better as well. It helps you to be more in the present moment, getting rid of any distracting thoughts.
The Headspace app is a great app that can help you sleep if you have a hard time at night. Meditation for sleep is guided, and it helps you to rest your mind and body.
Headspace offers a 30-day price-friendly sleep course that is for changing your relationship with sleep. It helps you to train your mind each day for a month for better sleeping patterns.
It is so easy to get distracted every night before bed by having your phone in your face. You lose track of time and before you know it, 2 hours have passed. Try out these ways to improve your sleep habits for better rest at night!