Is It OK To Sleep Near Your Phone? 4 Reasons It Can Actually Be Good For You
Falling asleep while on your cell phone is a bad idea, but you probably already knew that. The National Sleep Foundation says "the use of electronic devices in the bedroom further disrupts the natural pattern of the sleep-wake cycle," mainly because of the blue light emitted by our devices. Even though it's awful for your sleep health, giving up your nightly phone routine is hard — I tried to create a phone-free bedroom and failed miserably. So what do you do if you can't put your phone away? If you insist on using your phone at nighttime or sleeping near your phone, you can try to use your phone to help you fall asleep and still wake up feeling rested.
It's important to note that pretty much all of the scientific data available recommends putting your phone in a different room to maximize your sleep health, so using your phone to fall asleep shouldn't be your first option. But if you can't help it, there are apps that can make your night more restful.
“To prepare for sleep, we need to transition from the hustle and bustle of the day to the calm of the evening,” Michael Acton Smith, co-founder of Calm, the meditation and sleep app, tells Bustle. “We need to create a transition time, so that rather than stimulating our minds with emails, messages or social media, we instead allow them to unwind. We seldom do this. It’s no wonder that so many of us struggle to calm our racing minds and nod off naturally to sleep.” Bustle talked to Smith and other technology experts about ways to stay healthy, even if you insist on using your cell phone at night.
1. Turn On Night Mode
"Use your Settings to put your phone on Night Mode, which reduces the brightness of your phone’s screen in the evenings and filters out the blue light that keeps you awake by signaling to your brain that it’s still daytime," Eleanor Kashouris, a spokesperson for Calm, tells Bustle. "Most newer phones now offer the in-built ability to filter out blue light in this way. Such filters can be operated using a daily timer, so that they switch on and off at the times you want." And, according to a press release provided to Bustle by digital insurance company Asurion, getting rid of blue light can be a huge help when you're falling asleep.
I started meditating a few weeks ago, and although I don't spend as much time meditating as I should, it's been a game-changer. There are tons of apps out there that contain ways to make meditation easier, and the practice has been shown to improve sleep and decrease the risk of insomnia. Tech experts from Asurion say in its release that "falling asleep can be difficult, and thoughts about how much you need to sleep are counterproductive." Meditation can stop your mind from wandering.
3. Download An Alarm App
If the sound of your alarm makes you visibly cringe every morning, try an app designed to make waking up easier. Good Morning Alarm Clock is an app designed to help you figure out an optimal sleep and wake up time, and using a smart alarm clock can be a huge help when it comes to waking up on the right side of the bed.
4. Turn On "Do Not Disturb" Mode
"Apps such as Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook have default settings that trigger notifications to draw you back to the app," Kashouris tells Bustle. "Customizing notification settings can help you use your phone more mindfully by, for example, reading the news for just a few minutes in the evening, rather than trawling through endless social media." Turn on your Do Not Disturb to set an intention to get to sleep sooner rather than later.
Don't be afraid to put your phone down — you'll likely sleep better if it's not nearby. But if you can't get away from the urge to scroll through social media until you fall asleep, implement these tips and you might see better rest.
This story was updated from its original version on Mar. 23.