Poor-quality sleep is caused by a variety of factors. Yet, one major culprit is small enough to fit in your pocket: your cellphone.
95% of adults regularly use electronics within an hour of bedtime, even though it can negatively impact both sleep quality and quantity. While it may seem harmless, technology in the bedroom can keep you awake and anxious, instead of getting you ready to wind down.
Why is tech in the bedroom bad for sleep?
Electronics of all kinds – TV, cellphone, tablet, computer, video games, etc. – keep you up for several reasons. Besides adding to your stress, consuming digital content is bad for sleep and health because:
- The blue light of screens is “visual caffeine” that keeps your body from producing the sleep hormone melatonin.
- Devices can keep you engaged for longer, making you stay up later.
- Screen time in the bedroom can also get in the way of connecting with your partner and spending quality time with family.
- Due to poorer sleep, tech can also lead to weight gain and other health issues.
- The distracting sounds and blinking lights on your phone can disturb your sleep and cause you to look at your phone in the middle of the night.
- Your bedroom space may be less relaxing because digital devices are taking up your time and energy.
How can rethinking tech in the bedroom help?
When you limit or reconsider how you’re using tech in the bedroom, you won’t just enjoy better sleep. You’ll also improve your connection with your partner, boost self-reflection and mindfulness, and enjoy less stress from constant email and social media buzz.
In fact, creating a more serene bedroom starts with building a better relationship with your technology use, especially before bed.
5 tech tips for the bedroom to get better sleep
Fortunately, there are a few simple tweaks you can make to your routine in order to cut out stress-inducing tech use from your bedroom. Here are some easy ways to start getting better sleep:
1. Make your bedroom a screen-free sanctuary
Don’t store your digital devices in your bedroom. Your TV, tablet and computer shouldn’t be anywhere near your room at night. Though cellphones are a bit trickier, try not to use yours an hour before bed. Let it sit on your bedside table just like an alarm clock would. Or you can use it for sleep-related activities only, such as a relaxing meditation app or a white noise app.
2. Build a non-tech bedtime routine with a digital curfew
Your bedtime routine shouldn’t involve screen time. An hour before bed, start your non-tech bedtime routine. This could be taking a bath, reading a book or simply listening to music. Avoid the default habit of using your phone before bed. You may even create a digital curfew – say 9:00 – when you’ll no longer use your devices. To keep yourself accountable, you can even set up your wi-fi to shut off at a certain time.
3. Place your phone out of reach of your bed (and on silent!)
If you really do need your phone in your bedroom, try placing it out of reach of your bed. Even having it a few steps away will prevent you from scrolling before bed and picking it up during the night. Put it on nighttime mode too, so it will silence your notifications and stop you from getting distracted from pings, vibrations and lights.
4. Optimize your sleep with a fitness watch and/or sleep app
Sometimes tracking your sleep can help you see how harmful tech can be in the bedroom. Get a fitness watch or use a sleep app to track your sleep and find out how much (or little) you’re actually getting. This can motivate you to create better tech habits and ensure you’re catching the z’s that you need to rest and function well the next day.
5. Try 10/7 not 24/7 connectivity
If you feel the need to check your email to see if there’s a message from your boss, or respond to a family member’s late-night text, take a step back. 24/7 connectivity isn’t just bad for your screen time – it also induces more stress and anxiety.
You deserve to have periods of relaxation and breaks from work. Set boundaries with your boss, family and friends so that you aren’t anxious about keeping up with your messages minute to minute. A good goal is 10/7 connectivity – in other words, a responsive schedule such as 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. However, even 12/7 connectivity can help you enjoy more relaxing evenings.
Create a screen-free sanctuary today
Now that you’ve created a screen-free sanctuary, you’re ready for restful sleep. At Polysleep, we support your sweet dreams with a line of mattresses and pillows that will have you looking forward to bedtime. Check out our products to get better starting sleep tonight.
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