Think about your daily routine. In our globally-connected world, we are all constantly communicating, whether it's first thing in the morning or very late at night. We wake up and check Facebook, twitter, etc. We check our email multiple times throughout the day. We surf the web as we watch TV. Then before crawling into our hotel bedding, we relax by reading our favorite novel on our e-reader or checking social media one last time. Finally, we set the alarm on our phone and we drift off to sleep.
But maybe not.
Screen time actually interferes with our ability to rest, relax and get restorative sleep. Many experts are recommending that we scale back our evening screen time in order to get some decent shut eye.
3 Ways to Avoid Screen Time at Night:
1) Read a paper copy of your favorite book.
Sure, it's easy, convenient and affordable to download the next book you want to read right onto your tablet or even your phone. However, the light from your screen can be preventing your body from releasing the hormones it needs in order to help you peacefully drift off to sleep. The light from your screen can trick your body into thinking it is still daytime, and prevent you from being able to fall into a deep, restful sleep. Try grabbing the next book you want to read from the library, or pull a book off the shelf from your favorite author. After 15-20 minutes of reading a paper book in bed, you'll be able to lay down and quickly fall into a deep, healing sleep.
2) Use Night Shift, or a comparable app.
Perhaps you just have to get a presentation done by morning, or you really just want to check your Facebook news feed one more time before bed. This is the perfect solution to your screen time issues. Night Shift adjusts the light that your screen emits so that your body will understand that it is nighttime. Your computer and your mobile devices are programmed to give off blue light that looks like daylight. Night Shift adjusts the light that your computer displays according to the time of the day. So, in the evening, it will eliminate the blue light in order to ease the strain on your eyes and to help you relax as you inch closer to bedtime.
3) Pull out that old-fashioned standard alarm clock, or put your phone on Do Not Disturb.
Even if you say that you aren't going to check your phone for text messages or read your emails, you may be tempted by the bells, chimes and whistles that are constantly going off on your devices. If this is disrupting your sleep and making you too anxious to relax completely, you need to remove the temptation and turn off the sounds. Do Not Disturb allows you to add exceptions, so you can just have alarms or VIP numbers come through, but no social media or unimportant messages. Or use that old alarm clock that only has one function — to get you up in the morning. This will allow you to relax completely and sleep better through the night.
Give your body a chance to recover from your day and prepare for your tomorrow.
In order to get the rest that you need to tackle another busy day, you need to take time for a personal retreat each night. We spend so much of our time behind a screen, whether it's working at the office or helping our children with their homework in the evening. The light that we absorb can interfere with our sleep, and it can make it difficult for us to wind down before going to bed. Take some of these tips to heart, and hopefully you'll soon be waking up refreshed and ready to start your day.