Have you woken from a bad nights sleep grumpy and irritable? It can ruin your entire day not to mention the effect on your co-workers, friends and family. You can find yourself being triggered by the most trivial of things. That’s because waking up irritated starts our day in a stress response.
Sleep disturbances can have a huge impact on your physical and mental well-being.
Research shows a strong correlation between sleep problems and anxiety. And, they influence each other so the cause and effect go both ways.
Recognising that there is a relationship between the two is a step in the right direction, but what can you do to give yourself the best chance of a good nights sleep?
Here’s one way… put your phone down before bed.
Studies have demonstrated that the blue and white light emitted from digital screens prevents your brain from releasing the hormone melatonin, which is one way your body knows it’s time to get some shut-eye. So it becomes harder to fall and stay asleep. Findings from the Big Sleep Survey from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2014, showed an association between the use of electronic devices in bed (think computers, gaming consoles, TVs and mobile phones) and effects on sleep in adolescents. They concluded that there were potential flow-on effects for physical and mental well-being.
So, ask yourself if you really need your phone in the bedroom? Think back to your bedside table the 80s and 90s. (OK, the millennials amongst you really have to get creative to imagine this.)
There were probably just three objects. A lamp, an alarm clock and probably a book. Have a look now. Go on. Check. Your phone may have replaced all three. Yes? Well if that’s the case then it’s time to change.
If you are having trouble sleeping you should already have a routine to get yourself ready for bed, so make sure putting the phone in a particular place, far away from the bedroom, is part of that sleep preparation. It should be in another room so you won’t be tempted to read the news or social media while you are drifting off to sleep or sneak a quick peek during the night.
Some phones have a Night Shift mode which shifts the screen colours to the warmer end of the colour spectrum, however, there has been no evidence so far, that it actually helps you get a better sleep. At best, it’s probably placebo. So you can try it, but the real results are when the phone is nowhere near when you’re sleeping.
Phone companies are doing their best to make our phones indispensable, but if you really need to get the latest make and model S, X, Z or whatever it is, make sure it’s not preventing you from getting the Zzzz’s you really need.
[Photo courtesy Creative Commons Attribution license ]