Article written by Frey
@myhealthybangkok

It’s not only the kids that need some sleep training ones in a while; we could use it too. If you’re like me, you will probably have some sleepless nights, that’s not just because of the kids that wake me up. No, since a while it’s hard to fall asleep and that is partly because of my phone.

A while back I banned my phone from my bedroom, and for a good reason apparently. According to a Dutch research  (sorry in Dutch only…), people who use their phones in the evening sleep worse. They tested what would happen if you wouldn’t use a screen for a week, and wear orange glasses (I mean – Dutch so obviously orange 😉 ) to block the blue light from led-screens, and they saw that the complaints decreased significantly.

Banning my phone to the living room!

Did you know that 95% of adults use some type of screen in the hour leading up to bed? Like many others, I never thought it would have such a big influence on my sleep. But boy was I wrong! And I only noticed this when I decided to leave my phone in the living room. So what changed for me? Let’s take a look.

Earlier bedtimes
It’s not just the blue light (proven to suppress the release of melatonin) that stopped me from falling asleep. It was having the phone there, in my hand. I just kept scrolling on the endless supply of lovely photos Instagram had to offer, or checking my Facebook wall, or the news, or… By putting away my phone, I am sure I am giving myself another 45min of sleep – which I desperately need with two kids under 3!

Unwind fully
My phone was probably the last thing I saw before I went to sleep, and the first thing I reached for in the morning. Owh and at night too when I am feeding my son. How sad is that? Not only that, but because I am on my phone and see all the updates from the news, WhatsApp, line, Facebook, Instagram, and so on, I am never switched off. It keeps me feeling stressed and never puts me in the state of relaxation which is so needed to have a good night sleep. And there is that vicious cycle – I can’t sleep so I grab my phone again. Without that option of taking my phone, I am able to fully unwind and sleep!

If you snooze you lose
Never had I really taken this so seriously – when you snooze you lose – but did you know that snoozing is actually bad for you? If you’re like me, often you feel super groggy when you wake up after snoozing a couple of times. Snoozing itself can be the culprit. The thing is, your body needs some time to get ready and wake up. When you snooze, you kind of mess with this, as the body thinks it’s false alarm and so never really wakes up properly during your snooze sessions… When I use my super simple alarm clock (that doesn’t have a snooze option) I wake up feeling more refreshed. Another good reason to ditch the phone in the bedroom, right?

Fun between the sheets
Yes, lets go there without being embarrassed! True, through your digital connection you can have a connection with hundreds of people at a time, but it ruins the real-life connection you can have with the person lying next to you. It even goes this far that one in five young adults (in the US) use their phones WHILE having sex…  So its no surprise 12 percent of them find that their phone gets in the way of their relationship.

And that’s not any different for me – although texting and sexting is not something I have ever done before, kind of rude isn’t it?! As said before, often the last thing I see at night is my phone, not my husband’s handsome face.  So ditching the phone is not just good for me, if you know what I mean 😉

Now you understand why I sleep a lot better when my phone is not on my bedside table? Whether it’s the influence of the blue light, or just the fact that I can’t check Facebook, Instagram and the likes in the middle of the night.
The thing is I just feel a whole lot better without the interruption of this small little device that already controls a bit part of my day. So my phone will stay safely in the living room, so I can catch up on some much-needed zzzz’s (if my kids let me 😉 ).

How to make your bedroom a digital free zone?

Actually, it’s kind of simple, you just need a bit of will power and keep that phone away. What helped me was by taking away my charger on my nightstand and putting it outside the room. With the battery life of phones being what it is, you need to charge is some time, so why not in the evening, far away from your bed? If you find it difficult and you have a partner, just talk to him/her to help you with this new habit.

Next up is to buy a simple alarm clock that can wake you up (without the snooze function preferably!) so you don’t have to worry about that. And with that, you’re all set and done. You can create a lovely nighttime rest for yourself in just a couple of easy steps!

How about you? Do you want to ban your phone to the living room too, or don’t know what all the fuzz is about?

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