How many times have you gone to bed with all intentions of going to sleep only to find yourself scrolling away on your cell phone an hour later?
Mmm hmmm. I’ll wait while you count…
I know it’s hard to stop, especially when 79% of smartphone users have their phone on or near them, for all but two hours of their waking day. (Marketo, 2015)
What in the world are you doing those two hours that you’re awake and your phone is not near you?
They’ve got me beat.
By the time your day is winding down, you’ve had a good 15 hours, give or take, with your cell phone. At that point, it’s time to kiss it good night.
Here’s a suggested bedtime routine that may help you catch some more zzz’s tonight:
- Turn Off All Electronic Devices An Hour Before Bed
It is crucial for your brain and body to have a wind down period before you fall asleep. [Tweet “Harvard Health recommends that you not look at any bright screens 2-3 hours before bedtime.”] Additionally, you’ll want to turn off your cell phone, laptop, desktop, TV, and all other electronic devices.
Why? A bucket load of research has suggested that blue wavelengths are disruptive at night. According to Harvard Health, “…exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms.”
Need an alarm? Fine, set your alarm on your cell and then turn it on airplane mode. It will still ring in the morning.
If you are on call or have some other circumstance that requires you to have your phone on at night – then consider putting it on Do Not Disturb and modify your settings to the types of phone calls you want to receive. If you are on call and have to pick up any call then get to bed extra early just in case.
- Set The Mood
No one, unless you’re a 2 year old who’s been at the playground all day, is going to fall asleep in a loud, chaotic and bright room. Listen to peaceful and relaxing tunes while you’re preparing for bed. Light a scented candle or soothing essential oils (like Lavender) to get your senses connected. Close the curtains, turn off the lights, and use a red light bulb for your bedside lamp. A study lead by Randy Nelson, professor of neuroscience and psychology, at The Ohio State University, suggested that blue and white lights play a key role in mood and exposure to red lights at night were a better alternative.[Tweet “A study by OSU suggested that exposure to blue & white lights play a key role in mood.”]
- Bring Out Your Old Pal: A Paperback Book
Did you ever think that reading a paperback book would be something that caused some serious nostalgia. Oh, how times are changing. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that participants who read from an iPad took longer to fall asleep and spent less time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep than those who read paperback books before bed. REM sleep is important to our health and according to NIH, “one study found that REM sleep affects learning of certain mental skills. People taught a skill and then deprived of non-REM sleep could recall what they had learned after sleeping, while people deprived of REM sleep could not.”[Tweet “REM sleep affects learning of certain mental skills.”]