We’ve all heard the warnings about how using your phone before bed can have a negative impact on your sleep. But the real reason why using your phone before bed hijacks your sleep might not be what you think.
Most people think that the blue light emitted from phone screens messes with our circadian rhythms and keeps us awake. While this is true, it’s only part of the story. According to recent research, the real culprit behind our poor sleep is the psychological effects that using our phones has on us.
When we’re scrolling through social media, watching videos, or playing games on our phones, our brains become stimulated. This stimulation makes it harder for us to relax and fall asleep. This is because our brains are still processing all the information we’ve taken in, even though we’re trying to sleep.
In addition to this, using our phones before bed can also lead to feelings of anxiety and stress. We might be scrolling through social media and see something that upsets us, or we might be playing a game that’s particularly challenging. These kinds of experiences can lead to elevated levels of stress hormones, which can make it harder for us to fall asleep.
Finally, using our phones before bed can also lead to poor sleep quality. Even if we do manage to fall asleep, our sleep might be disrupted by the stimulation we’ve taken in from our phones. This can lead to us feeling tired and groggy the next day, as our brains haven’t had a chance to properly rest and recover.
So, while it’s true that the blue light from our phones can keep us awake, the real reason why using our phones before bed hijacks our sleep is the psychological effects it has on us. If you want to get a good night’s sleep, it’s best to avoid using your phone before bed.
Sleep is essential for good health, yet many adults and teens struggle to get enough of it. Teens are especially affected, with nighttime technology use, busy schedules, and heavy homework loads contributing to the sleep crisis. 70% of adults report rarely getting sufficient sleep, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. The content we see on our devices can have a big impact on our slumber, with both positive and negative content causing a spike in stress hormones or neurotransmitters that can disrupt sleep. To combat this, sleep and digital-media experts suggest knowing your triggers, reconfiguring your habits, making lists, using tech to fight tech, glancing at the time, creating a family tech plan, and restarting your sleep routine. This includes leaving your phone in another room at night, setting bedtimes in apps, and enabling Do Not Disturb or Wind Down/Bedtime Mode on your device. Additionally, parents should create a tech plan with their children, and follow the rules too. With these steps, you can ensure you get the rest you need.