In our ultra-connected world, a smartphone is the first and the last thing many people see every day. Staying connected with our networks is extremely tempting, and you can safely bet that every app and social network you use is designed to be as addictive as possible, but there are good reasons to put away your smartphone well before bedtime.
The light emitted by your LED screen confuses sensitive light-detecting cells in your eyes into signaling to your brain that it’s daytime. The series of biochemical reactions triggered by this signal is bad news for quality sleep. Any exposure to electronic light before bed hampers your body’s ability to wind down.
It’s important to draw boundaries with social media. Remember that most social networks are designed to keep you online for as long as possible. The result is an unprecedented level of connectedness, which can be a wonderful thing, but immersive social stimulation is not exactly relaxing. Neither are feelings of inadequacy generated by scrolling through some celebrity’s Instagram feed.
Some professions require people to be on-call at odd hours, and there’s no getting around that. However, if you’re checking your work email at midnight out of habit and not necessity, you may want to consider re-evaluating this habit. Getting adequate sleep is very likely to make you better at your job anyway.
Everybody knows that a lack of communication and intimacy is toxic to relationships. If you share a bed with your partner, there’s every chance that instituting a “no phones in bed” rule will do wonders for your intimacy. Don’t let the ultra-connectivity of the virtual world hamper your real-life relationships.
If you cut out the time it takes to scroll through Facebook or Instagram before bed, imagine what else you could fit into your day! Try reading, listening to relaxing music, meditating, or doing some light stretching. These practices will help you get to sleep easier, but they’re also beneficial habits to cultivate for overall well-being.