The Year of Yes, ep. 4: Saying YES to SOUNDER SLEEP by DITCHING SCREENS & GOING ANALOG
Raise your hand if you have sleep troubles 🙋🏻 🙋🏾 . It's probably no surprise that using your phone, tablet or computer in the late evening can disrupt your sleep. What is surprising is how deeply it can affect you - your brain and your body.
The use of screens at night suppress the production of the body's main sleep and circadian rhythm hormone, melatonin. In fact, the presence of any artificial light at night can potentially wreck your sleep cycle, but blue light has been proven to be the most disruptive. There is preliminary evidence that stifling melatonin production may even be linked to such concerning health issues as cancer and diabetes.
The best answer to this problem is putting your phone away (and not near your bed) on true silent mode (often denoted by a crescent moon symbol) a few hours before bed. If that seems right near impossible, dimming your screen's brightness and putting it on nighttime mode, which will change the screen’s blue light to a softer pink, is less disruptive and a good idea.
However, even if your phone has the warmer screen tone, the content of what you’re ingesting can be just as insomnia-producing. Racing or anxious thoughts are commonplace among people who experience insomnia, myself included. These anxious thoughts can increase the amount of stress hormones running through your body (think: cortisol, adrenaline), which in turn will make it even harder to sleep. Using your phone right before bed, for games, email, social media … anything really … has the potential to exacerbate these fight-or-flight hormones causing sleep to be even more elusive.
The best answer here is analog reading, something not too exciting, especially by dim light. Doing this will focus your brain in a single direction, putting it in a more calm, passive mode, which will help you fall asleep.
Sleep tight tonight! Let me know how it goes! 😴