When you’re trying to wind down for the night, you might think that checking some of your messages or watching a few videos on your phone could be a good way to relax. But while it might seem harmless, the truth is that using your cell phone in Denver right before bed could end up ruining your nightly slumber, leaving you feeling exhausted in the morning. Read on to learn how your phone affects the quality of your sleep and learn a few alternative strategies that can help you truly get ready for bed.
The Link Between Your Phone and Poor Sleep
Using a phone or any other device with an electronic screen has been shown to have a negative effect on your body’s ability to sleep. A 2018 study published in Psychological Reports tracked the sleeping patterns of healthy adults in their 20s after five straight nights of unrestricted tablet use. It was found that they got less sleep compared to people who only read books before bed.
The light emitted by electronic screens suppresses your body’s ability to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps control sleep. It’s not exactly clear why blue light has this effect, but some researchers believe that it’s a combination of the body’s sensitivity to blue light and the brightness of the screens themselves.
What Can You Do to Improve the Quality of Your Sleep?
Obviously, simply reducing the use of electronic devices in the evening will go a long way towards helping you correct your sleeping habits. If you must use your phone or another device before bed, it’s recommended that you turn the brightness down as low as possible. Spending plenty of time outdoors seems to make a difference as well. Also, if you’re in the habit of reading before bed, start curling up with actual books and magazines instead of using your phone.
In addition to cutting down your screen time, there are a few other ways you can get a good night’s rest:
- Exercise during the day. Vigorous exercise tends to have the most impact on your rest, but even daily 10-minute walks can make a significant difference.
- Be careful of what you eat and drink. Avoid big meals and alcohol before bed. Also, try not to drink too many liquids that could force you to wake up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Be alert for signs of disorders such as sleep apnea in Denver. If you’re told that you snore loudly at night, or if you constantly wake up with a sore throat, you should get in touch with a sleep expert immediately.
Remember that when it comes to your health, there’s simply no substitute for a good night’s rest. Think carefully about your own habits so that you can make changes to your daily routine as appropriate; don’t let your phone disrupt your rest.
About the Author
Dr. Gary Radz first found oral appliances when he was diagnosed with sleep apnea. He found them to be a far more comfortable alternative to CPAP machines, and since that time he has dedicated himself to learning more about using dentistry to improve the quality of sleep. If you are suffering from sleep apnea symptoms or have other concerns about whether you’re sleeping well, you can schedule a consultation at his Downtown Denver practice by visiting his website or calling (303) 377-5337.