Why You Should Not Sleep Near Your Phone: Your Guide To Better Sleep

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Do You Have a Bedtime Routine? 

Source: weesleep

I bet for your children, bedtime is rock solid! Bath, brush teeth, story time, and lights out! For many parents, the adult version of bedtime looks more like this. Laptop open with tomorrow’s looming deadline, overhead lights on full blast, and a binge worthy TV show on in the background.  All while cruising social media on your phone, and trying to catch up with your partner. Sounds relaxing, right?

Wrong! These activities all stimulate the brain, giving off what is known as Blue Light. Blue light boosts alertness and tells our bodies it’s time to wake, even if it’s 10:00p! “This artificial light activates photoreceptors called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), which suppresses melatonin”. {Source}

We need our body to produce, not suppress melatonin at night. Melatonin is sort of like Mr. Sandman. It puts our body in a relaxed state, prompting sleep and hopefully sweet dreams naturally.

Source: Apple.com

Your phone… You know that beloved thing that has become an extension of your hand?  It may be your BFF all day, but at night it’s associated with so many mental disruptions that may be robbing you of sleep. The very sight of it reminds you of work, bills, your calendar, social media & group texts. (AHHHH!!!) All of these task-centric distractions signaled at night give your body and brain a second wind. 

Spiking your cortisol, stimulating your brain and putting your body into “fight or flight” right before you plan to hit the pillow. Ever notice how you suddenly have the urge to organize the pantry at 9:00 PM, even though you were exhausted during your kids’ final story just an hour prior! That’s your phone, robbing you of melatonin and spiking your cortisol.

Ironically, many tech companies have developed programs to help you adopt a healthier relationship with your phone! Apple’s iOS 12 update includes a new digital wellness feature that allows users to set time limits on app usage and control notification distractions. Google has a similar feature called “Flip to Shhh” which switches your phone into Do Not Disturb mode when you place it face down, and also Wind-Down mode that automatically turns your screen to grayscale at your bedtime! Sounds perfect, right!?
Apparently you can get the “Flip to Shhh” feature on any phone!!

When in doubt? There’s an App for that! Moment provides coaches to assist you and challenges like “stop sleeping with your phone” to help you develop healthier bedtime habits!

To quiet your mind and give yourself a chance for rest, try creating a No Phone Zone in your room after 8:00 PM, or at least two hours before your bedtime. If an 8:00 PM No Phone Zone is not realistic given your work and family schedule, try applying screen filters, like night mode, or wearing Blue Light Shield glasses. {like these!}


“By using blue light blocking glasses we are decreasing input to the photoreceptors, so we can improve sleep and still continue to use our devices”. {Source} Allowing productivity at night, if need be.

I believe a good night’s sleep is the most important self care routine you can do for yourself! Here is a collection of ideas that have helped me sleep like a baby again! If you are having trouble quieting your mind and giving yourself a good nights’ rest, I hope you find these helpful. 

  1. Simulate darkness in the evening by using dim lights in your home after your kid(s) bedtime.
  2. Take a 20 minute Epsom salt bath while listening to a meditation app. I really like Calm. Give the free trial a try!
  3. Sip sleepy time tea 90 minutes before you plan to hit the pillow.
  4. Give yourself a proper story time with a paper or hard-back book in bed. Right now I’m reading City of Girls and it’s been eliciting some crazy dreams!
  5. Instead of relying on your phone as your morning alarm clock, buy a basic $9 alarm.
  6. Invest in a weighted blanket. I bought this one on Prime Day and it has been a total game changer! 
  7. Grab an accountability partner! Ask your spouse or best friend to join your No Phone Zone challenge so you can cheer each other towards your goal of less tech!

What are your favorite tactics for reducing your phone usage at night and getting a restful sleep!? Share the love and post your favorite tips! 

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