Everyone agrees that a good night’s sleep is a necessary component of a healthy lifestyle. Experts suggest that the lure of our devices may distract us from sleep, and recommend we banish our phones from the bedroom. However, for many, that’s not an option. In fact, 71% of Americans sleep with their phones within reach.
Asurion tech experts Brandon and Auralia offer the below tips to optimize your sleep if you must keep your phone on the nightstand.
Ditch the blue light.
Sleep experts say that the blue light from our phones (and other electronics like computers and tablets) can actually keep us up at night because it suppresses melatonin production. But, did you know that you can reduce the amount of blue emitted from your device? It’s simple, just go to your Display & Lighting settings, and select the nighttime option.
Falling asleep can be difficult, and thoughts about how much you need to sleep are counterproductive. It’s only when we let our minds wander and get back to a relaxed “alpha” rhythm that we can finally catch those ZZZs. That’s why meditation apps like Headspace and Calm have gained popularity as they allow you to stay calm and focused, practice mindfulness and, you guessed it, sleep better.
Prevent notifications from disturbing REM sleep.
Just because you’re not using your cell phone before bed doesn’t mean that it can’t harm your sleep: Keeping a mobile within reach can still disturb slumber, thanks to the chimes and vibrations of late night texts, emails, calls, or calendar reminders.
Turn on Do Not Disturb.
The Do Not Disturb function on smartphones disables all sound and visual notifications. But don’t worry, an emergency call will come through if the caller calls multiple times.
Here’s how to turn on Do Not Disturb on an iPhone:
- Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb to turn on Do Not Disturb manually or set a schedule.
- You can also turn on the Do Not Disturb function by swiping to the Control Center and tapping the “Moon” icon.
Here’s how to turn on Do Not Disturb on an Android:
- For Android users, simply, press the volume down button to vibrate and once more for Do Not Disturb. This will set it to only allow Alarms to sound.
Use a sound machine app.
Experiencing the sound of a jungle, or rain at night can relax the mind by taking you far away from tomorrow’s looming meeting. With the app Relax Melodies, you can take your pick of having sleep sounds or white noise whisk you away… for free.
When you can, put it away well ahead of when you want to go to sleep.
Sometimes we simply can’t ditch the phone completely, but if there’s not an important reason to be on your phone or you know you need to get a good night’s sleep for a big meeting tomorrow, try to set an alarm an hour before you want to go to sleep and put the phone away. You can also use the clock application on the home screen of your iPhone to carry this service out.
Want more guidance on how best to use (or not use) your technology? Tech Help is the easiest way to get more from your tech.