Your bedroom is a place where you wind down and get ready for a good night’s sleep. As you’re winding down after a long day, you might not think twice about staring at a screen until you’re ready to close your eyes – as a matter of fact, checking your phone might even be a longstanding nighttime ritual, a time to scroll through your social media feed, play Candy Crush or catch up on the news. According to a recent study, nearly 58 percent of people check their phones within 30 minutes before going to sleep.
This may seem like harmless fun, but it could be having detrimental affects on your mental and physical health. Want to test disconnecting before bed? Here are a few reasons to ditch your smartphone in bed.
1. Eliminate the urge to play games or surf the internet.
Playing games or surfing the internet from your phone is an excellent way to kill time in a waiting room. It can also break up your day by providing a few minutes of fun downtime. However, playing games on your phone before bed has been shown to affect sleep patterns since the bright lights of your screen can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime and inhibit the process of falling asleep.
Plus, the more games you play, the easier it is to lose track of time. Often, you end up playing games well past your bedtime, resulting in fewer hours of sleep.
2. Avoid interrupted sleep.
After mulling around on your smartphone, you probably place it on a nightstand beside your bed. This is a convenient location for the phone, but with the phone so close to your ears, notifications sounds or vibrations received throughout the night can shock you awake. Even when you don’t remember waking up, interrupted sleep can result in feelings of restlessness and grogginess throughout the day. And when you’re sleepy during the day, you’re more likely to be less productive.
If you don’t have an old-fashioned alarm clock and you use your cell phone instead, make sure you turn off notifications at night, put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode and place it on your nightstand face down. Even with notifications turned off, the phone screen could light up during the night and interrupt your sleep.
3. Reconnect with a loved one.
Think back to life before the existence of smartphones. Chances are, climbing into bed was an opportunity to converse with your loved one and spend quality time together. Even if you spent these few minutes watching television, at least you were together and doing something as a couple. A smartphone in bed can result in less chatting and more scrolling.
True, you’re in the same room. But there’s a disconnect because you’re off doing your own thing, playing games or answering late night emails. If you and your partner barely enjoy quality time during the day, ditch your smartphone and reestablish a lost nighttime tradition.
4. Get back to your favorite hobbies.
Then again, maybe you enjoyed reading books before smartphones came into your life. Maybe you were an avid writer. If you’re willing to put down your phone for a few minutes a night, you can rediscover your love for a lost hobby. Especially if you don’t have a lot of time to spare during the day, just 10 or 20 minutes spent reigniting your passions before bed can bring a new joy to your life. Once you’re ready to turn off the lights, you might find yourself more content and tired out.
Smartphones in bed are becoming the norm, but there are reasons to kick your phone to the curb after a certain hour of the night. You’re less likely to be overstimulated before going to bed, and when you’re not glued to a phone, you can enjoy other people, activities or hobbies. More importantly, ditching the phone teaches you how to become less dependent on an electronic device.