Painless Ways to Ditch Smartphones at Night
How can I avoid using my phone at night?
Do you find it difficult to stay away from your smartphone or mobile phone at night?
Or, you have a habit of checking your smartphone and tablet and get into swift mood changes if unable to send or receive messages at night?
Are you flipping through apps on your phone mindlessly when you really should be sleeping?
Well, if your answer is yes to those questions, you are certainly showing signs of addiction to a smartphone at night.
Most of us have adopted the smartphone lifestyle and can’t resist reaching out for the phone in our pocket or bedside table whenever we get a text or an email. There is no denying that we have already become a slave to our electronic devices, and most of us are not even aware of the adverse impact of smartphone usage at night.
The risk of certain health conditions
Excessive use of smartphones and electronic devices can result in certain behaviors that can adversely disturb our well-being.
Sleep disturbances – Research shows that the bright shining screen of your smartphone or other gadgets can hamper your normal sleep cycle and disturb your built-in clock.
Your body and mind are quite ready for sleep, but the blue light from your phone emits hampers with your brain’s signals and will make it harder for you to sleep.
Poor sleep quality – As you do not allow your body and mind to relax and recharge at night due to smartphone usage, the body releases less of the natural sleep hormone, melatonin. Thus, one finds it harder to fall asleep and will get a less restful sleep.
Insomnia – As you look directly into the light of your phone, checking out social media, or reading the messages or the news, you take even longer to sleep. Heavy or excessive phone usage at night can lead to sleep disturbances and insomnia.
As a result, you wake up the next morning with a groggy mind and fatigued feeling after a sleepless night.
Blurred vision – When you stare at the smartphone or tablet for a prolonged amount of time at night, there is a higher risk of getting blurred vision and dry eyes. Clearly, using your smartphone at night is not doing any good for your eyesight.
It is time you had a serious look at your usage of smartphones at night and look for ways to emend your reliance on the phone, especially at night. It is essential to get a good night’s sleep instead of checking for messages, texts, and emails.
You are perhaps not aware, but your smartphone habits are certainly impacting your brain’s health and sleep quality. Realize the gravity of the issue and the need to enjoy a good quality of sleep every night.
Useful tips on how to enjoy a gadget-free time before bed
Start looking for ways on how to stay away from your smartphone at night and control those feelings of anxiety or irritability, and here is how.
1. Get more disciplined
Just make a firm decision and place your phone out of sight and reach during bedtime. It is a good idea to make your bedroom gadget-free, but you will need a lot more discipline to put it into practice.
Leave your phone in another room in a designated space at night and help that develop as a regular habit. You can easily leave your phone downstairs or the home office.
The idea here is to discourage the use of phones before bedtime.
2. Place a curfew on electronics
Establish strict rules regarding your usage of technology and limit your usage of smartphones at night. You can set a rule for yourself for a definite time of night which you are not allowed to touch any gadgets or devices.
Experts suggest at least an hour before sleep time for a healthy nighttime routine.
3. Foster new habits
It could be a good idea to develop new habits just before your bedtime, such as listening to music, reading your child a book, or meditating for a few minutes. That will definitely keep your mind off your smartphone and help you relax.
You could fight the temptation of using your smartphone by providing a more traditional diversion in the form of a good book or music at bedtime.
4. Change the smartphone’s settings
If you must keep your phone with you, look for other ways, such as silencing your apps or blocking the internet. This is a lot more effective way than silencing your phone altogether.
Tweak the notification settings so that you are not kept awake at night.
5. Get a blue-light-blocking screen
The thin film on your iPhone or smartphone will block the sleep-inhibiting blue light and control the brain-stimulating glare of the screen. Go ahead and invest in blue-light-blocking screen to negate the impact of the technology.
Now you can work on your electronic device without the brain-stimulating effects of screen glare and enjoy a good sleep at night.
6. Practice a digital fast weekend
Go on a digital fast for a day and try to stay away from your phone for some time.
The idea is to remind you that your life exists beyond your phone. Switch off all app notifications except for some essential calls and messages.
Interact with real people in real life, especially your family, or make an effort to catch up with an old friend or see an ailing relative.
As this practice becomes easier for you, extend your fast to 30 days.
As a nighttime technology user, you need to set some ground rules for discontinuing the use of smartphones, tablets, and TVs. All these devices can emit blue light and contribute to poor sleep.
Experts recommend cutting off-screen time 1 hour before bed.
Keep in mind that bedroom and bedtime is a place and time for rest and relaxation. This is the time when your mind and body would prefer to unwind and relax instead of being bombarded with distractions of the digital world.
Other articles you might be interested in: