So many of us are obsessed with our smartphones. We use them for many reasons: to be entertained, to stay informed, to connect with our loved ones. Overuse, however, can be detrimental to the quality of our sleep which can in turn affect many different aspects of our health.
Poor sleep is something that I've struggled with myself, so I've taken one simple measure to improve the quality of my sleep. I strongly recommend that you consider trying it too.
Before we get to the simple change you can make, let's review how using electronic devices can be detrimental to our sleep.
Many of us are aware of this. So why do we keep using our electronic devices in bed? Though we don't like to admit it, anxiety and worries tend to creep in when we lie in bed, alone with nothing but our own thoughts. Often this manifests as negative ruminations, or repeatedly thinking about negative events and anticipating unfortunate consequences . This can be scary or uncomfortable.
Many of my patients experience this. I've experienced it myself, too. As soon as my head hits the pillow, I often think about what I could have done better during the day, the things I never got around to, or something I am dreading. Rather than confront these thoughts head on (ha!), I'd rather numb out and distract myself on my smartphone until I fall asleep.
So what was the simple change I made? I started charging my phone overnight in my living room rather than my bedroom. And my sleep improved drastically. I fall asleep faster now. I feel more rested when I wake up. And, as a bonus, I am not distracted by my phone if I wake up in the middle of the night or during my morning routine.
I strongly recommend that everyone at least give this a try. Even if you live in a one-room space, try charging your phone at the outlet farthest away from where you sleep. You may need to buy an old-fashioned alarm clock (or find your old one) to make sure you wake up on time.
There are lots more tips on improving sleep which I will explore in a future blog post. In the meantime, check out this helpful Checklist for Better Sleep. And if you are still having difficulty sleeping, make an appointment to see your family doctor.
This blog provides general information which is not intended to be and should not be construed as medical advice. Talk to your family doctor about any medical concerns and to get more information on this subject.