Using your phone in bed is making you sleep badly. Here's why.
Updated: Jul 7
Screens are amazing. We use them for nearly everything and see them nearly everywhere; from billboards to fridges and coffee machines to cars, everything in our world seems to be attached to a screen. Including us.
We use our screens for work, entertainment, keeping in touch, reading the news, checking the time, following a recipe, and everything in between. For some of us, it seems like screens are integrated into every part of our life.
Discussions and debates about the pros and cons of this are as numerous as the screens themselves, but that’s not what this article is about. Here, we want to talk about an often overlooked impact that screens have on us.
A US study has found that a staggering 81% of smartphone users are on their phones in the hour before bed, with 66% using it in the half hour. This might not seem like such a big deal, but the truth is that using a smartphone, or any screen, in the hour before bed can have really detrimental effects on your sleep.
The reason for this has to do with melatonin, a hormone your body produces to help you fall asleep.
Historically, humans have slept during the night and been awake during the day, and so our bodies have evolved to respond to light and dark as the triggers for the suppression and secretion of melatonin respectively.
Because of this, when we’re looking at a screen, the light it produces (specifically the blue and green light) is telling our bodies that it’s not time to sleep and lowering our melatonin levels so we don’t feel tired.
To truly sleep well, we need to learn to break our bad screen habits and create a bedtime routine that helps us wind down and get ready for sleep.
Even consider a ‘no screens in the bedroom’ policy. It may seem extreme, but it’ll make a really big difference to the quality of your sleep.
Sleeping well has such an impact on your quality of life, giving you energy, focus, and productivity for the day ahead. And the opposite is also true; a bad night’s sleep can set you up for a bad day’s work.
But for some people, kicking the screen habit isn’t enough. Countless Australians are going about their life on half a tank, not realising that they have a sleep disorder which can and should be treated by a medical professional.
If you’re someone who has trouble with their sleep, then please do get in touch with us. A chat with one of our sleep technicians is the first step on the pathway to better sleep and a better life.
This article is from Keystone Medical Media, a sub-entity of Keystone Content.