I’ve talked before in a previous article about the benefits of a good night’s sleep and today I want to discuss what I believe to be a major culprit for why many people fail to get a good restful night’s sleep.
I am talking about your beloved cell phone that if I could guess, lies right beside your bed each night.
Research has shown that the light that is emitted from electronic devices disrupts the circadian rhythm of the pineal gland, which lowers the body’s natural production of melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy.
Thankfully, most devices have a setting now that allows you to lower the blue light at night, giving you the freedom to scroll, read or watch a movie with less of a negative effect on your hormones. However, despite this great little tool, I believe there are more psychological and emotional stressors triggered by having our phones right by our beds at night that can have far more damaging effects on our precious hours of rest and sleep.
Let me know if you can relate:
It’s 9:30 pm, you grab your phone out of habit to scroll for just a little while..an hour later and you are still scrolling. It is now past the time you told yourself you would go to bed and now your mind is racing. You will not be able to fall asleep for at least another 30 minutes to an hour. The fact that you have lost at least an hour or more of good sleep causes you to be stressed about how tired you will be in the morning and angry at the fact that you didn’t have discipline to just go to bed when you said you would.
Why is your mind racing?
Well, let me guess. You checked your e-mail. Your inbox had important things you need to respond to and added more “to-do’s” to float around in your head, undone and unable to check-off any list at the moment. Someone texted you and you feel like you have to immediately respond. Or, maybe you are the type that loves reading articles specific to your business or passion. All the reading however gets your creative mind going and you begin dreaming and planning projects instead of sleeping. Maybe all of the reading does the opposite and instead, leads you into a spiral of thinking that you aren’t doing enough and should be doing more with your life or business. Now you are stressed and feeling poorly about yourself.
Finally, you put the phone down and you realize you never said one word to your spouse before they fell asleep. You missed an opportunity to connect, to talk and catch up on each other’s day, an opportunity that is so rare in our fast-paced lives these days.
Eventually you fall asleep, only to wake up first thing in the morning to a text from your boss or coworker or an new e-mail from a client or work. Your mind immediately goes into a state of stress before you have even gotten out of bed. Or, maybe out of habit you immediately grab your phone to simply scroll Facebook. While this may seem harmless, you have yet to realize the very real negative effect it has had on you. You compare yourself to others false reality they put out for the world to see and you have allowed a feeling of general discontentment with your life to creep in, and yet you continue to start your day like this every single morning.
While this may not be your exact routine, I bet most of you can relate to a majority of these scenarios. About a year ago, I ditched the phone in the bedroom at night and let me tell you, it has been life changing. I sleep better than I ever have, connect more with my husband and generally have much less stress in my life because of setting one simple boundary in our home.
Go buy yourself a cheap alarm clark that emits as little light as possible and watch your sleep improve as well as many other areas of your life. You’ll thank me later!