HOLISTIC SILK RETREAT Bedtime Gadget Banishment

On a mission to find perfect sleep?  Steer clear of gadgets and phones!

In 2016 a UK mobile phone survey revealed 91% of people aged 18 – 44 owned a smartphone.  By 2019, 55.5 million of us owned one, that’s practically everyone aged 16 – 54!

A conference of school Head Teachers, looked into the phone habits of 2750 pupils aged 11 – 18 and found that 45% of these young people checked their mobiles through the night, almost a quarter of them did it more than 10 times a night – something that possibly not just young people are guilty of!

Why are gadgets like phones so bad for sleep?

We know that phone use at bedtime leads to poor sleep patterns and sleepiness during the day and there are several reasons for this.

At its simplest, diving in and out of your phone or tablet through the night, when you should be asleep, means you don’t get the uninterrupted rest you need, leaving you feeling colourless and weary.  For many of us it can be a challenge to fall asleep in the first place.  Add the fact that gadgets come with the potential for extra mental, emotional and physiological stimulation and I you can be left suffering from insomnia.  

Most importantly from your body’s physical perspective, light from small screens tends to be in the blue spectrum, the shortest and brightest wavelength.  This ‘blue light’ tricks your eyes and brain into thinking it’s daylight, which in turn makes you feel energised.  It interferes with your body’s sleep hormone, melatonin, as well as the circadian rhythms of your built-in body clock.  No wonder a lack of sleep feels so similar to jet lag.

Then there’s a constant stream of alerts, incoming messages and status updates, all of which disturb sleep badly, reducing the quality and quantity of restorative sleep.  There’s even a relationship between sleep and mood, with disturbed sleep a potential factor in developing depression.

REM sleep matters.  A lot.  It restores the body and mind, fires your creativity, drives good memory skills and enhances your problem-solving abilities.  When it’s disrupted it leaves you feeling dull and weary, with poor levels of concentration.  

Because mobile phones and tablets vibrate and beep when something’s happening, they can wake you up, even when on silent mode.  Not good when we all need at least seven hours of quality sleep to fully recharge and rest.  The overall picture isn’t good.  And once you realise mobile phones also present a fire risk, it’s clearly time to change your ways!

How to fix poor phone-led sleep patterns

Luckily poor sleep thanks to late-night gadget use is fixable.  Here are a few key tips for changing your night time phone habits for the better.   

  • Realise that FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out, isn’t a good state of mind to be in.  Find a way to reduce your feelings of worry that you’re missing exciting things, maybe through meditation or mindfulness.  It helps to remember that your messages will still be there in the morning waiting for you.
  • Leave the phone in another room and use an alarm clock instead of your phone alarm so you’re not tempted.
  • Controversial, but keep phones and tablets out of the bedroom altogether – just don’t go there!
  • Put your gadget away and swap it for a book at least an hour before bedtime.  Switch it right off to give your brain and body the time and peace it needs to prepare for sleep. 
  • If you really can’t handle a night without your phone by your side, switch it into night mode. The yellow light is easier on your eyes, less likely to damage your sleep pattern.
  • Make your sleeping environment as comfortable, calming and appealing as you can.
  • Invest in sleep-promoting products such as light blocking Sleep Masks and other sleep promoting products, designed to make bedtime into a luxurious treat.
  • Ban TV from the bedroom.  It’s almost as bad as a phone or tablet for disrupting sleep.  If you prefer some noise to comfort you to sleep try listening to some gentle music – preferably on a CD player not your device’s playlist.

Try all this and you’ll find it easier to drop off into a gorgeous sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed, alive, inspired, and ready for anything.

HOLISTIC SILK RETREAT Bedtime Gadget Banishment
HOLISTIC SILK RETREAT Bedtime Gadget Banishment

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