It’s no secret that smartphone usage has increased significantly in recent years. We know we’re not the only ones that take our smartphones everywhere, almost as if the devices were glued to the palms of our hands. But there’s one place that should be classified as a no-phone zone. Your bed.
Smartphones and other technological devices such as laptops, tablets, and televisions emit blue light through their bright screens. Your brain can confuse blue light with actual daylight, hindering your body’s production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle, so blue light essentially tricks your body into thinking it’s time to wake up instead of wind down.
How can you prevent your smartphone - and its disruptive blue light - from interfering with your sleep schedule? Follow these simple tips:
Activate the Night Shift Feature
You don’t need to completely give up your smartphone at night in order to fall asleep. But, if you plan on using your smartphone around bedtime, it’s best to activate the night shift feature first. Once activated, this feature will adjust the colors of your smartphone’s screen to minimize the blue light and maximize the warm light emitted from the device. This helps minimize your phone’s interference with your sleep schedule.
To turn this feature on, visit the Settings app on your device. Tap on “Display & Brightness” and then “Night Shift.” On this screen, you’ll be able to schedule exactly when you want the night shift feature to turn on. We recommend 60-90 minutes before bedtime. You can also visit this screen and manually turn it on when you’re ready for bed every night.
Switch to Night Mode Settings
If there’s a certain app that you tend to use at night, check the settings to see if there is a night mode feature. Many apps, including Twitter and WhatsApp, have one that’s similar to the night shift feature found on Apple devices. This feature lets you use your favorite apps at nighttime while minimizing your exposure to blue light.
Charge the Phone Across the Room
It can be tempting to grab your smartphone and check your email, scroll through social media, or browse the web when you’re having trouble falling asleep. As you now know, this habit can make it even harder to fall asleep. Stop relying on your smartphone to pass the time at night by plugging the phone’s charger in across the room. If it’s not within reaching distance, you will be less likely to use it while you try to fall asleep. This will also prevent you from reaching for your phone if you happen to wake up briefly in the middle of the night.
Turn the Phone on Silent
Another reason people use their smartphones at night is because they hear notifications that signal they have a new text, email, or phone call. The temptation to see who is trying to get in touch with you can be far too powerful to resist. We get it. Thankfully, this problem has an easy solution. Turn your phone on silent before you get into bed.
You can even go one step further by activating the “Do Not Disturb” feature. When your phone is on silent, the screen will still light up every time you receive a notification. The Do Not Disturb feature, however, prevents this, which makes it even easier to resist looking at your phone.
What if there’s an emergency? Adjust the settings on your device so the Do Not Disturb feature will automatically turn off if someone calls your phone repeatedly. Making this adjustment will allow the call to go through, which means you will hear your phone ring when someone is repeatedly trying to get in touch with you - just in case.
Wear A Sleep Mask
It can feel impossible to avoid blue light if your partner is using a technological device while laying in bed next to you. You don’t have to sleep on the couch in order to get a good night’s sleep. Instead, slip on a sleep mask. It will prevent exposure to the blue light emitted from your partner’s device, so his or her bad habits will not impact your sleep.
Find Other Sleep-Friendly Activities
Many people rely on their phones to entertain them in the hours before bed. Try to break this habit by finding sleep-friendly activities that are just as entertaining. Read a book or magazine instead of reading articles on your smartphone. You can even use a Kindle since many e-readers don’t emit blue light. Finding other ways to spend your evenings will make it easier to break away from your phone so your body’s melatonin production will not be affected by your smartphone habit.
If you are still having trouble falling asleep after making these adjustments, turn to Som Sleep for a little extra help. Drinking a single serving of Som Sleep 30 minutes before you go to bed will promote rest and relaxation, which makes it easy for your body to gently drift to sleep!