We all know that a solid 8-hour sleep is the foundation that starts your day off right. But, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that sleep is absolutely vital for physical and mental wellbeing, a full night of uninterrupted sleep is becoming more elusive, not less. And the culprit can be found in your pocket.
We have never been more connected to our phones than we are right now. Often that’s a good thing: we can keep up to date with what’s going on with our family and friends, check out new restaurants, and binge our favorite shows from anywhere in the world. But there’s one place that your phone shouldn’t go: into the bedroom.
A new study shows that 71% of the population brings their phone to bed with them. While it can be tempting to send off one more email before bed, there are a number of reasons why you should move your phone to the other side of the room, or even better, ditch it in another room altogether.
Boost Your Melatonin
The blue light emitted by phones is a proven enemy of deep sleep. When it hits the eye, blue light tells the brain to stop the production of melatonin, a hormone produced when we sleep. When you get rid of that distraction by turning off screens an hour before bedtime, the brain is able to perform better, producing a healthy amount of melatonin and getting you the good sleep you so desperately desire.
Be Less Distracted — and More Centered
It may seem obvious, but having a phone next to your bed leaves you in a heightened sense of awareness. Even with your phone on silent, you can often hear vibrations as you get a new text, message, or email. Those minute distractions add up to create an environment not suited for deep, restorative, good sleep.
With your brain always on the alert for another message, it’s hard to get into a place where sleep will come to you. If you move your phone to another room, sure you might have a little FOMO at first, but it will calm your nerves and leave you feeling more centered. That’s a must for a good sleep schedule.
Establish a Better Pre-Sleep Routine
We often feel compelled to check our phones, even when we are feeling tired because of an obsessive compulsion to see what else is new. This is a cultural phenomenon known as “screen addiction” that is sweeping our generation of sleepers.
Over 51% of millennials say that they check their phones multiple times an hour, and 22% of those surveyed said that they check their phone every few minutes. This is an enemy of sleep, which requires you to ease your consciousness into a relaxed state for the best sleep.
If you move your phone to another room, it physically takes away the urge to check what’s going on. You may miss it at first, but eventually those feelings will go away as you learn a new sleep routine. Try replacing your phone time at night with meditation or reading, both proven sleep constructive routines that will lead to good sleep in no time at all.
So give it a try, move the phone, what do you have to lose? You’ll be more alert and attentive the next day, and that means you’ll be able to be the best version of yourself, enjoy your life, and greet any challenges with confidence. That’s worth a few hours without your phone.