Decades ago, reading a book before bed has been a habit of a lot of people. That habit usually starts from bedtime stories from one’s childhood. However, since the digital era started, reading books has been replaced with browsing smartphones. Admit it, we're all guilty of it. What we don't realize is using our smartphones before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep. If you're one of the many people who's struggling to ditch screen phones before bedtime, try these tips to improve your sleep hygiene and rest better.
EFFECTIVE WAYS TO DITCH SCREEN PHONES
Separating yourself from your smartphone may take some willpower at first. However, once you've formed good habits it will be much easier to doze off at night.
1 - Set a reminder to stop using your phone an hour before bedtime
Stop scrolling social media and using your phone at least an hour before you go to bed. Find a new routine for that hour. Read a relaxing book, spend some time meditating, or listening to an audiobook. Have a fixed routine that you follow before bed every day so that your mind knows that when certain things happen, it's time to wind down.
2 - Charge your phone in a place that's out of reach
Break the habit of reaching for your phone when you're struggling to doze off by putting your phone on charge somewhere that is out of reach of the bed. If you can, charge your phone in a different room so you're not distracted by blinking lights or pinging notifications.
3 - Swap your phone for an alarm clock if you need an alarm
Being able to check the time is useful, and many people do depend on alarm clocks. If you currently use your phone as an alarm, replace it with a more traditional 'dumb' alarm clock. Choose one that has a screen that goes off after a while, and that you have to touch to see the time. The reduction of distracting glows in the room could make it easier for you to fall asleep, and improve the quality of your sleep too.
4 - Make use of Do Not Disturb settings
If you have to keep your phone in your bedroom, turn on the Do Not Disturb feature so you're not getting needless notifications. Most phones have a feature that means if someone in your contact list calls you a couple of times in quick succession they'll break through the DND setting and your phone will ring. This means you can still be contacted in an emergency, but you won't be pinged because your second cousin in another state tagged you in a cat picture on social media.
5 - Use an eye mask and earplugs for better sleep.
Try using a sleeping eye mask to block out lights from chargers, clocks, or even streetlights. It will make you fall into an undisturbed sleep while you enjoy the 100% light blocking experience. Add some earplugs to block out distracting sounds too, especially if you're a light sleeper. Achieve deeper REM (Rapid eye movement sleep) and wake up feeling rested and refreshed with these products.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If the above tips don't improve your sleep duration or quality, consider asking a doctor for more advice. It could be that something other than phone screen time is impairing your ability to get a restful night's sleep.