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Three reasons to stop using your phone in bed

Posted by Blooms The Chemist on 16 Mar 2023

Three reasons to stop using your phone in bed


Use your phone in bed? You’re not alone. However, it’s likely that it’s impacting your sleep more than you think.

Using your phone or other technology before bed is directly linked to difficulties falling asleep as well as reports of increased alertness1.

If you’re actively using your phone or playing video games, browsing the web and engaging with stimulus on your phone, it can keep you awake and you can find yourself ignoring the signals that your body is giving you to go to sleep.

Here’s three ways your phone use impacts your sleep.

1. The light from your phone screen tricks your brain

The light emitted from your phone screen is blue light and is an artificial colour that is known to mimic daylight2.

Larger exposure to blue light before bedtime can disrupt your sleep pattern as it impacts when our bodies create melatonin, which is a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness and helps you sleep.

If that’s not enough, blue light can also have an impact on other parts of your body, including your eyes.

Unfortunately, our eyes aren’t good at blocking out blue light, which means that nearly all visible blue light passes through the front of the eye and reaches the retina (the cells that convert light for the brain to process into images)3.

Constant exposure to blue light could cause damage to your retinal cells and cause eye issues, such as cataracts, eye cancer and age-related macular degeneration.

2. You may be encountering stressful content before you go to bed

Going to sleep is meant to be a restful and relaxing experience, but that may not always be the case if you’re scrolling through your messages.

If you experience something that causes you stress or anxiety before you go to bed, it’s likely that you’re going to get disrupted sleep.

Anything that triggers an intense emotional state, such as anger or happiness, may trigger a response that prolongs your ability to fall asleep and get the high quality sleep you need to function the next day4.

3. You’re interrupting your sleep schedule

If you’ve worked hard at keeping a consistent sleep schedule, which is going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time each day, using your phone to prolong when you go to sleep undoes the hard work you’ve been doing.

As phones are designed to be responded to, flashing lights, vibration and noise can disrupt what was a peaceful night’s sleep.

Getting fragmented sleep can contribute to daytime sleepiness, insomnia and sleep deprivation, which can impact your ability to go to work, school or social activities.

A 2014 study from Tel Aviv University School of Psychological Sciences found that although many people think that fragmented sleep is better than no sleep, it’s not5.

The study focused on parents of newborn babies and how their sleep was impacted, but there was a clear link established between interrupted sleep patterns and negative moods.

"These night wakings could be relatively short — only five to ten minutes — but they disrupt the natural sleep rhythm. The impact of such night wakings on an individual’s daytime alertness, mood, and cognitive abilities had never been studied. Our study is the first to demonstrate seriously deleterious cognitive and emotional effects," Professor Avi Sadeh explained.

It’s also one of the first studies of its kind to address the impacts of fragmented sleep on people.

"In the process of advising these parents, it struck me that the role of multiple night wakings had never been systematically assessed," said Prof. Sadeh, who directs a sleep clinic at TAU, where he advises exhausted and desperate parents on how to cope with their children's persistent night wakings.

"Many previous studies had shown an association, but none had established a causal link. Our study demonstrates that induced night wakings, in otherwise normal individuals, clearly lead to compromised attention and negative mood."

This essentially means that if you get fragmented or interrupted sleep, it can clearly lead to a compromised attention span and a negative mood.

Removing your phone from your bedroom might be difficult at first, but it might just be what you need to get the restorative sleep you require for your body to repair itself.

If you know you’re not getting the deep sleep you need, explore our Sleep Solution products that can help you get the quality sleep you need to restore your concentration and more today.

References

1Gradisar, M., Wolfson, A. R., Harvey, A. G., Hale, L., Rosenberg, R., & Czeisler, C. A. (2013). The sleep and technology use of Americans: findings from the National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep in America poll. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 9(12), 1291-1299.

2Australian Sleep Health Foundation, Technology & Sleep, accessed 10 March 2023.

3UC Davis Health, How blue light affects your eyes, sleep and health, accessed 10 March 2023

4Better Health Victoria, Mood and sleep, accessed 10 March 2023

5Tel Aviv University, TAU study on interrupted sleep, accessed 10 March 2023