In today’s world, it is common for people to check their phones before bed, especially if they have insomnia. With the introduction of the iPhone, people became used to checking their phones before bed and realized how much easier it was to go through stacks of books or flip through TV channels.
While, on average, people sleep for about 7 to 8 hours a night, it is common for people to check their phones and fall asleep earlier. A person’s biological clock stores the time they wake up in their brain, which regulates how much time they need to sleep. After checking your phone, the screen will light up at approximately 2:00 a.m. while most people sleep in the 5th or 6th hour. This will make it hard for them to fall back asleep and further disrupt their sleep cycle.
The repercussions of a person checking their phone before bed, according to pain management specialist Jordan Sudberg.
1. People who check their phones are less likely to fall asleep at the right time and may be more likely to wake up throughout the night. The light of a cell phone or tablet can make it harder for someone to fall back asleep after waking.
2. A person who checks their phone before bed can be easily distracted from sleep by things on their screens, such as Facebook messages or Twitter notifications. This interferes with the time spent in deep sleep, which is when the most restorative sleep occurs.
3. When someone does check their phone, they are more likely to become anxious and worried about the things they may be seeing. This can cause them to become restless and stressed, which may keep them awake longer.
4. Checking your phone before bed makes it harder to switch your thoughts off. A person will likely find themselves thinking about things on their phone when they should be focusing on trying to fall asleep.
5. Screens from phones, tablets, and laptops emit blue light that tricks the brain and body into thinking it is still daytime. This can trick the brain into not producing melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep.
6. The light of screens from phones, tablets, and laptops can cause eye strain. The screen is in constant use while using it close to bedtime. This can lead to the muscles of the eyes getting more sore, putting more stress on them.
7. Screens from phones, tablets, and laptops can cause the brain to be less efficient in processing information during sleep. This leads to a person not sleeping as profoundly or restfully as they would otherwise.
8. The light of screens from phones, tablets, and laptops can cause a person to be more susceptible to nightmares. Nightmares are known to be triggered by the light of screens (even devices that don’t have screens) when someone is trying to fall asleep.
9. By checking your phone before bed, you are increasing your risk of developing chronic back pain or pain in your neck and shoulders. The constant use of the muscles in these areas while holding the phone can increase strain. Jordan Sudberg said, “While many factors influence sleep, people need to start taking control of how they use technology before bed. Not only will it help them fall asleep faster, but it can also positively impact their health in the long run.”