90% of people check their smartphones, tablets, or computer immediately before bed. Some people even sleep with it in their beds. And one in ten people admit to checking their phone in the middle of the night.
But screen time can seriously mess up your quality of sleep. The light your phone produces mimics daylight, which tricks your body into thinking it's daytime AKA time to be awake. It stops your body from producing melatonin which is a hormone that induces sleep. This is why experts recommend you turn off your screens at least 2 hours before bed. A bad's night sleep can also lead to poor memory. There are also studies that show the blue light from phones can cause cancer and cataracts.
Here are 10 tips to give yourself a "digital detox" before bed, which will improve your sleep habits and overall health.
1. Avoid screens before bedtime.
Try to avoid screen time for 90 minutes before bed. This gives your body time to wind down and produce that melatonin we were talking about!
2. Try Meditating or Reading Before Bed
Screen time doesn't just mean phones, it includes TV. Try a new nightly routine to help relax and make you sleepy.
3. Use Your Phone's Night Shift
Some people can't avoid their phones at night, for whatever reason. If you do need to use your phone in the evening, use your phone's 'night shift' feature. This gets rid of the blue light your phone screen emits.
4. Put your phone on airplane mode while you sleep
Notifications can come in at all hours of the night. Group chats, friends in different time zones, news alerts: they know no time limits. Airplane mode stops all wifi and phone service until you turn it back on. Some phones also have settings that will do this automatically depending on the time.
5. Break the habit of mindless phone checks
A lot of people check their phone out of boredom and without even thinking. Try and break the habit, both during the day and at night. It will make it easier to leave the phone alone before bed.
6. Keep the phone out of reach
So many people sleep with their phones next to their beds. It makes it a lot easier to grab in the middle of the night. Why not put it across the room? A little less tempting when you wake up at 1am. No one wants to get out of bed at 1am unless the house is on fire (and even then it's questionable.)
7. Is Facebook worth more than your health?
If you're someone who checks your phone in the middle of the night, ask yourself: why? Is your Facebook feed more important than your sleep schedule? When you're at work at 2pm tomorrow and propping your eyes open with toothpicks, will you really be happy with your decision to creep that person's profile? Probably not.
8. Keep yourself accountable
There are apps that tell you how much you use your phone during the day. These can help you cut back, especially at night. We don't often realize how much we use our phones at night before bed, so an app can help you manage that.
10. Reward yourself for success
When you follow your digital detox plan, reward yourself! Positive reinforcement is a great way to keep yourself motivated. Make it weekly, make it monthly, it's your choice! Of course, the ultimate reward is a good night's sleep.