Everyone has a sleep routine, but not all routines are good for your sleep quality. 9 out of 10 Americans admit to using some sort of technology to fall asleep and quiet racing thoughts. Whether you turn on a show you've seen a million times or scroll through your phone in bed, those actions can actually hurt how well you sleep.
At 1800CPAP, we're all about helping people overcome bad sleep no matter the reason. If technology's a part of your bedtime routine, let's examine why it’s harmful and some healthier alternatives.
Using Your Phone at Bedtime
Imagine you have a weekday bedtime of 9:00 pm. After cleaning up the kitchen, you settle into bed at 8:30. You spent all day thinking about work and chores — it's time to unwind with some mindless social media scrolling.
It's 9:15 and you're still scrolling. Before you know it, it's 10:00 and guess what? You're less tired than when you got into bed.
All of those posts woke your mind up. Though you're feeling happier, your brain is stimulated by new information that it now has to process.
Through endlessly scrolling for some you time, you're participating in what experts dub revenge bedtime procrastination. Because you spent all day working for others, you're putting off bedtime to reclaim those lost hours. It's understandable, but damaging to your sleep cycle.
Lulling Yourself to Sleep With Television
Maybe you're more of a Netflix fiend. To help yourself fall asleep, you turn on an old sitcom. It's warm, familiar and, unfortunately, terrible for your sleep. You may fall asleep quicker, but the sounds will wake you up later.
It's not just the sound, though — the blue light emitted from the screen fools your brain into think it's day and halts the production of melatonin, a hormone that maintains your body's sleep cycle. Your phone and pretty much anything else with a screen also emits this kind of light.
If I Can't Use My Phone or TV, How Do I Fall Asleep?
Though they may take some time to get used to, there are a few habits that will quickly replace that craving for technology right before bed:
1.Stick to a sleep schedule so your body knows when to produce melatonin.
2. Take note of your diet and caffeine intake. Don't go to bed too hungry or thirsty, but eating and drinking right before bed keeps you up.
3. Keep your bedroom dark. Remove technology, dim clocks and invest in heavy shades.Exercise. Do it earlier in the afternoon so you'll feel ready for bed later.
4. Calm racing thought with a journal to log your worries or meditate so your anxiety has a release valve.
If your sleep quality hasn't improved after ousting technology from your bedtime routine, there may be something else going on. You may need to see a doctor about a CPAP machine or address other issues like jaw position, neck cramps or too dry of a bedroom. In any case, 1800CPAP has you covered. For more information about our sleep apnea products and how to get a better night's rest, check out the rest of our sleep blog.