What’s the last thing you do before bed? Do you play games on your phone, or check your emails and social media notifications? As useful as our smartphones, tablets and other tech devices can be, they can also be disruptive and our habits before bed can influence how well we sleep. We previously looked at ways to nix your mobile notifications to stay more focused but now we’re taking a look at how you technology can impact the way you sleep. A good night’s sleep is incredibly important to your health and general wellbeing, so it’s a good idea to make some tweaks to your devices to make sure you can nod off easily and you don’t get woken up at the wrong time.
While you may be happy for your phone to beep and buzz during the day, it’s another matter entirely at 3AM! An easy way to make sure your slumber goes uninterrupted is to schedule a Do Not Disturb mode on your phone during the hours you’re typically asleep. While this mode is enabled, sounds and vibrations from notifications, calls and SMS will be silent so your sleep isn’t disturbed. Check out these guides for iOS and Android:
We’re willing to be that you go to bed with the curtains or blinds shut so you don’t get rudely awakened by the morning sunlight coming through your window. However, you may also have sources of light inside your bedroom which could be bothering you when you’re trying to get to sleep. If the little status/standby lights on devices such as TVs, DVD players, air conditioners and even the display on digital alarm clocks are keeping you awake at night, it’s time to take action. One thrifty way to do this is to simply cover them with electrical tape. If you’d like to be able to see the light without being exposed to any glare or halo effects from a full-strength LED light, consider a light-dimming sticker such as Light-Dims.
When you’re trying to get to sleep, the sound of deathly silence can actually be a little unnerving. While you certainly want some peace and quiet, when things are too quiet, you’re more likely to suddenly hear unwanted and just plain irritating noises such as faucet drips or passing cars outside. One way to relax and tune out is with white noise, which is a quiet, repetitive audio track that contains sounds from all different frequencies, so it’s great for masking other sounds. There are a variety of free white noise apps available which will let you set different types of white noise on a timer, such as White Noise by TMSoft (available on iTunes and Google Play).
When you hear people talking about a “body clock”, they may be referring to a Circadian Rhythm, which is a 24-hour cycle of rest and activity that varies from person to person. While some people may not even feel tired until late at night, others may be crawling into bed at 8PM and bouncing up at the crack of dawn. Even while you are sleeping, you’ll also cycle through different stages of light, deep and REM sleep. Apps such as Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (available on iTunes and Google Play) can help you keep track of your sleep cycle by monitoring your sound and movements while you snooze. Then, you can set a time range for when you’d like to wake up and the app will gently introduce a wake-up alarm during your lightest stage of sleep so you get out of bed feeling refreshed.
It’s no secret that Aussies love their smartphones with over 89% of us having a phone of our own. However, if your phone’s screen is one of the last things you’re seeing before you lay down to sleep, you could be doing yourself a disadvantage. While current academic consensus suggests there are no known health effects of day-to-day exposure to blue light from our phone screens, research has found a link between technology use before bed and compromised sleep. Instead of watching TV, scrolling on your phone or playing video games just before bed, get into the habit of doing a zero-tech activity. This could be as simple as reading a book, writing a diary entry, meditating or going through a bedtime routine that preps you for the next day. Just before bed is also a great time to go through some stretches to help you unwind after a long day.
Do you have some advice for getting a good night’s sleep? Share it with us in the comments.