There are all sorts of reasons to avoid screen time before bed, but they all come down to this: You'll get better sleep, feel better the next day and be healthier overall if you lay off your smartphone/smartwatch/TV/tablet/laptop/desktop in the hours leading up to bedtime. But unplugging is easier said than done, isn't it? At Nest Bedding, we can provide a great mattress and bedding to help you get sleep, but we need you to help out too. Tune out of media activities before bed with these tips:
Set up a Charging Station
Remove all power strips from your room and set up a charging station in the living room or office. Use this to charge all your mobile devices overnight instead of having them on bedside tables. If you're skeptical that tablet or smartphone use can disrupt your sleep when used before bed, Mariana Figueiro of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute conducted a study in which she determined two hours of smartphone or tablet use per day could reduce the natural level of melatonin released in the brain each night. Melatonin is the chemical that tells your body it is nighttime and makes you sleepy. If your brain is chronically lacking this chemical, it can disrupt the circadian system, Figueiro said via the Scientific American website.
Move Your TV Out, Too
While it’s seems easy to unwind from your day by watching TV in bed, it’s best if you remove your TV from your bedroom to kick the habit. Of course, everybody has a favorite show or two, and if you miss an episode you might not know what’s going on next week. Use DVR technology to record your favorite shows that run close to bedtime. The Hopper from Dish enables you to record eight different shows all at once and then watch them later.
Get Into a Schedule
You aren’t the only one who will benefit from getting a good night’s sleep. Your spouse and kids will be in better moods if they follow the same schedule as you, too. So make a schedule for the family to follow. Before bedtime take an hour (or even two) to turn off the television, computers, smartphones and tablets, in order to focus attention on something else. Read books, play board games, or engage the family in craft and art projects. All of these activities stimulate the brain in different ways and help the mind focus on what is directly in front of it, instead of fretting about work, school, or distant social connections.
While turning off screens some time before bed can help the whole family sleep better, the mind also does best when in a routine or following a habit, according to Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit." So try and stick to a consistent bedtime in order to get the most from your sleep. When the mind and body is conditioned to fall asleep at a similar time every night, you’ll find yourself waking up more rested, as the body is able to fall into deep sleep faster, without tossing and turning.