How many nights a week would you say that you sleep within arm’s reach of your smartphone? If it’s every night, you’re in the company of at least half of Australia, according to a recent survey. Unfortunately, snuggling with your phone may be hazardous to your health.
LED light from digital devices confuses our body’s sense of whether it’s daytime or nighttime, which makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. Aside from that, being within constant reach of your social networks, work email, and every other aspect of your life that’s tethered to your mobile phone can make it difficult to relax. This is especially true if you’re prone to anxiety and/or insomnia.
What should you do? Consider these simple tips. Even if you can’t follow them to the letter on a daily basis, cutting down on your evening cell phone use when you can will pay dividends for your health.
Set a regular "lights out" time for devices
If you’re a habitual evening or nighttime smartphone user, it can be hard to get into the habit of going offline. It helps to set a regular time to put your phone away and stick to it as best you can. Sure, life will get in the way sometimes, but eventually, your new habit will stick.
Use screen-warming apps
Android products’ numerous screen-warming apps and Apple’s "Nightshift" mode reduce the amount of blue light emitted by your phone screen. (Blue light is the type of light that tricks your body into thinking it’s daytime). Ideally, you should put your phone and computer away a couple of hours before bedtime, but if you can’t do that, always warm up the screen after sundown.
Take advantage of "do not disturb" mode
If you’re not comfortable going into Airplane mode overnight, set your phone to "do not disturb" and keep middle-of-the-night texts and calls at bay. Unless you’re on-call for emergencies, this is a reasonable life choice that you should not feel guilty about making.
Remember, until very recently, it wasn’t normal to expect people to be available 24 hours a day. It may help to think of cutting your evening and nighttime cell phone use as a way of reclaiming your privacy and independence!