Even A Dead Phone Can Keep You Awake At Night
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Health and Wellness

Even A Dead Phone Can Keep You Awake At Night

How your phone can change your body's functions and sleep pattern.

Even A Dead Phone Can Keep You Awake At Night

The last time you went to sleep, did you take your phone with you? I know I always do. I tell myself I need to keep it close so that I'll hear my eight alarms that attempt to wake me up every morning. But (let's be real) every time I see my phone screen light up, I grab it without even thinking. Before I know it I've checked social media twice and sent my GroupMe one too many dramatic GIFs of Schmidt from "New Girl" to express just how tired I am... as I continue to text... which keeps me awake.

Clearly, I'm not the type to be surprised about phones tempting people into typing rather than sleeping. But what did surprise me was discovering that nighttime phone use continues to disrupt our sleep even after we put our phones down.

An interesting article from Harvard Health Publications, along with countless articles from reputable organizations, point out that the blue light that illuminates our phones is more than annoying during bedtime, is harmful. Exposure to bright light of any kind, especially blue light, "throws the body's biological clock—the circadian rhythm—out of whack," by delaying the nightly release of melatonin, a relaxing hormone our bodies naturally produce. This means that while we mess around on our phones while waiting to fall asleep, we're actually exposing ourselves to a light that signals our bodies to wake up.

But phones are not the only culprit. Time Inc. explained that, "The glaring light of a tablet, smartphone, or your computer’s backlit screen can throw off your body’s natural circadian rhythm." So how do we avoid this pesky blue light that seems to surround us? Time suggested awkwardly holding a device about 14 inches away from your face, but I'm going to have to pass on that one. Unfortunately, the only other alternative to completely avoiding blue light that I can think of would be taking melatonin supplements. However, Huffington Post recently shared an important reminder that these supplements should only be used occasionally to reset our biological clocks, and not nightly to help us fall asleep.

It looks like the only real solution to this problem is to suck it up and avoid any light-emitting screens for about an hour before bed. I encourage you all to embark on this painful but necessary journey toward a better night's rest with me. I promise that your phone will still be waiting for you in the morning, the internet's incredible amount of Schmidt GIFs will not disappear, Kylie Jenner will still be acting like she invented lipstick, and Donald Trump will still need his Twitter taken away. You're not missing anything.

Let's do this!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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