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How your phone affects your sleep

How your phone affects your sleep

Using a phone on bed affects sleeping quality

One item that is probably closest to all of us is our smartphone. And we mean this in a literal sense. We all have our phones somewhere near us, even in our sleep. And this is understandable! because most of us require having our phone for work and most importantly, to be reachable at all times.

As pocketable supercomputers, smartphones execute more of our tasks rather than just communication. They are now our most reliable tools and go-to entertainment devices. However, there is one caveat when it comes to having smartphones in our lives. It can get addicting!

Some people have trouble putting away their phones even for the night. Maybe it is because their work entails that they have to be reachable at all times. But, for most of you who are lucky enough not to have your jobs hounding you every hour, taking the opportunity to put away your phone while you sleep is an opportunity not to pass on.

How is your phone ruining your sleep?

Simply having your phone next to you when you sleep can already affect the quality of your rest. Its presence and reachability, while you are laying on your bed, leads you to compulsively check your phone for notifications. Especially when you see that screen light up or when you feel it vibrate. And, once you check on your phone when you are supposed to be resting, your brain gets stimulated making it harder for you to feel sleepy. Additionally, using your phone before bed exposes you to blue light which affects the release of melatonin.

Another bad side to having your phone next to you in bed is the radiation. We commonly hear about the bad side effects of radiation on us humans. But, the truth is that phones don’t emit enough radiation to kill us or give us cancer. There just isn’t enough scientific proof.

But, a good amount of scientific studies did show that exposure to Radio Frequency Electro Magnetic Field (RF-EMF) altered the sleeping brain activity in the first 3 stages of sleep which is the Non-Rapid Eye Movement or NREM sleep. These first 3 stages are key to having a nice, effective sleep. Other studies also backed this with findings that electromagnetic fields affect the amount of time we spend in deep sleep.

However, some studies also show that there is no significant effect on sleep quality from exposure to RF-EMF. This means that results are mixed and it depends solely on the individual how his or her brain responds to electromagnetic field exposure during sleep.

So, just to be sure, what can you do?

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Things you can try for a better snooze

Start with keeping your phone away from you 2 hours before you sleep. Doing this decreases brain activity, helping you fall asleep faster. Also, if you can’t keep your phone out of the room, at least place it 3 feet away from you. And if you’re wondering what to do with the two hours you have before bed, you can read a book, listen to music, or simply turn off the lights, close your eyes and relax.

Putting your phone on Do Not Disturb and enabling the blue light filter function on your phone’s screen can help. Do Not Disturb or DND silences not only the notification tone but also the vibrations your phone might produce when it gets a notification. Meanwhile, the blue light filter can help in reducing the blue light exposure your eyes may get if you inevitably check your phone at night.

With these easy changes to your nighttime routine, you will be on your way to finally achieve proper sleep and possibly even dodging insomnia. A night of good sleep can help you be ready for the next day and help you feel energized rather than feeling groggy and waking up with a headache.

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