What is the last thing you do before going to bed? My guess is that it has something to do with your smartphone: setting an alarm, sending a “goodnight” text to your significant other, checking emails or scrolling through Instagram for the 50th time that day.
We’re all guilty of using our phones before bed, which means we’re all not getting the quality sleep we need.
Digital screens emit blue and white light that can seriously mess with your sleep cycle. These specific types of light prevent your brain from releasing melatonin, which is the hormone that signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. Essentially, using your cell phone before bedtime can give you a "cell phone hangover" the next day.
Dr. Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, explained the impact of cell phone usage before bed to Business Insider: "People are exposing their eyes to this stream of photons from these objects that basically tells your brain, 'Stay awake! It's not time to go to sleep yet.'"
4. Late Night Cell Phone Usage Takes A Serious Toll On Your Body
It’s pretty simple: When it takes you longer to fall asleep, you’re going to get less sleep overall. And we all know that being sleep deprived can negatively impact both your mental and physical health.
Smartphone light disrupts sleep, but it also interferes with the hormones that control hunger, which means that use of smartphones before bed could lead to weight gain. If you want to keep a trim middle, getting a good night sleep is imperative, so shutting off your cell phone before bedtime might be even more effective than that super strict diet you were dreading.
People with suppressed melatonin levels are more susceptible to depression, which means that checking Facebook right before you go to bed could negatively impact your mental health. Want to stay happy? Adopt a no-screen policy before bedtime.
Whenever you get a poor night’s sleep, your cognitive abilities take a hit. This means that you'll have a harder time learning and focusing during the day, which can cause problems whether you’re in school or at work.
Results of a recent survey found that 71 percent of Americans sleep with their phones next to them in bed. That means that a majority of Americans are subject to the negative health impacts of cell phone usage before bed.
If you want to prevent the health problems associated with cell phone usage at night, the solution is simple: avoid any screens at least an hour before bedtime. Many doctors recommend reading hard copy books, writing in a journal or even meditating before bedtime to ensure a good, restful sleep.
Can’t ditch the cell phone before bed? Let’s be honest — most of us can’t. So at least try to hinder the harsh effects of blue light by putting your phone in Night Shift mode or downloading an app that filters out some of the blue light. Also, be sure to not look at your phone once all of your lights are turned off. Sweet dreams!