Smartphones have done so much for us. They connect us with friends and families, can be tools to use in emergencies, and have countless apps for entertainment, health, and everything in between. Most people have replaced traditional alarm clocks with their smartphones, which now sit on the bedside table to wake us up. In fact, for many people, their smartphone is the first thing that they touch before they go to sleep and when they wake up in the morning. All talk of smartphone addiction (or mobile phone overuse) aside, using your smartphone or device right before bed can seriously affect your ability to get to sleep and get good quality sleep.
There are two main reasons why using your phone right before bed may cause you to not get to sleep or affect the quality of sleep that you have. The first is blue light cast by the screen and the second is by keeping your brain alert.
Keeping You Alert
When you are doing things on your phone, a vast majority of tasks are stimulating and will keep you alert. Reading the news, answering personal emails, watching videos, and playing games all keep you alert. Playing games can be especially sleep-disruptive due to something called the Tetris effect (or Tetris Syndrome) which is when people play a video game for such an extended period of time that their thought patterns, mental images, and dreams begin to take the shape of the game. If you play a matching game, you will continue to match imaginary items in your head as you try to go to sleep, keeping you awake. Staying alert like this and then attempting to shut these thoughts down means you will spend a lot of time trying to get to sleep in comparison to if you set your phone aside and did calming activities in its place.
Regular visible light is made up of a range of wavelengths from 400-700 nanometers. Wavelengths that are near 400 are considered short, and those near 700 are considered long. The shorter the wavelength, the more they cycle per second, which means that they contain more energy than long wavelengths. Blue light is very shortwave, comprising of under 500 nanometers and the energy it gives off keeps you awake. Without any kind of artificial light (i.e. indoor lighting, television screens, laptops, tablets, computers, and smartphones) when the sun begins to set light ceases to stimulate you, and so your body begins to produce melatonin, which is a hormone that helps you to fall asleep. If you are constantly surrounded by blue light, though, then your body is unable to produce melatonin on a proper schedule, which means you will be unable to fall asleep on time or easily.
How to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life
Smartphones are stimulating, and by emitting blue light, they naturally keep you awake. If you want a good night’s rest, then it may be time to set aside your phone, even just half an hour before you go to bed, and do something relaxing, away from blue lights, that will help you fall asleep. Practicing this, while also having a great bed, like a boxed mattress from Slumberbox, will get you the best sleep of your life. Our mattress in a box, which comes in a variety of sizes including king-sized foam mattress and queen foam mattress, will be perfect for you!