Using your cell phone as an alarm clock is a sure fire way to a sleepless night. Sure, your cell phone has lots of nifty apps and a ton of functionality. We watch videos on YouTube, cruise for dates on Tinder, and keep up with our friends on Facebook. Our phones keep us connected, help us schedule, and entertain us when we’re bored.
But the truth of the matter is that we live in an overstimulated world. We’re constantly staring at computer screens, TVs, and yes, our phones. Our bedrooms should be our oasis, devoid of stress and distraction. The time we spend before bed should be a time to decompress, to unwind, to power down. But at the last minute, you plug your phone in, unlock the screen, and inundate yourself with a glaring screen and the temptation to browse, swipe, or stare. Your phone probably has an alarm clock, but if you’re using it when you sleep, you’re doing it all wrong.
Staring at Your Phone Tricks Your Brain
Staring at a backlit screen, like your cell phone, can trick your brain into thinking the sun is coming up. Studies have shown that using your phone, tablet, or other mobile device an hour before going to bed can reduce your melatonin levels by up to 22%. Using your phone as an alarm clock blasts your eyes with light and makes the primitive part of your brain believe that it’s not yet bedtime.
Using Your Phone Before Bed Can Keep You Up
You use your phone for a lot of things — games, messaging, email, social media, and, you know, as a phone. Our phones are constantly saying, “Look at me! Look at me!”… and we do. Maybe it’s an email from your boss, or maybe your friend just hit you with a triple word score on Words With Friends. Picking up your phone invites the temptation to reply to whomever or whatever is demanding your attention.
What to Do with Your Phone Before Bed
In a word, or actually three, turn it off. There is nothing your phone can do for you or ask from you an hour before you go to bed that can’t be dealt with in the morning. In the hour before you go to sleep, take the time to let your body and your brain shut down. Allow yourself to get ready for bed mentally. Mute your phone or, better yet, turn it off completely.
You may be thinking, how on earth will I wake up without my phone? Here’s some good news for the technologically enlightened. There is a great product out there that is a perfect alternative to using your phone as an alarm clock. It’s called… an alarm clock. An alarm clock really is the perfect alternative to a nightly ritual of one last check of the cell phone. Its simple, single purpose will help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and even wake you up. No cell phone required.