Most articles about our phones in the bedroom are full of doom and gloom. We can’t disregard the science, linking the jarring combination to everything from a bad night’s sleep through to increased anxiety, but we wanted to take a slightly different spin on the topic.
When it comes to keeping your phone out of the bedroom (or at least sticking it out of arm’s reach at bedtime) there aren’t only bad things to avoid but good things to be gained.
1. You’ll become smarter
Phones are often a source of late-night ‘reading’. We understand the trendy fascination with Trump’s tweets and breaking news about celebrity cats, but there are ample benefits to reading a book in the evenings instead.
The UK government website advocates reading for pleasure for a bounty of intellectual reasons, including reading / writing ability and an “awareness of other cultures”. A 2012 study from University of Notre Dame also reveals our memory is best when learning something right before bedtime (when compared with being awake for a whole day afterwards). Switch Facebook for a book!
2. Your relationship will improve
You’ve heard this one a million times, so we’ll keep it brief. More time away from your phone in the bedroom means more time for chats with your partner, talking about the important stuff, listening and not just hearing about each other’s day, and…other stuff.
There’s science to prove it, friends who concur, so give it a go.
3. You’ll unleash your true potential
Tesla needed two hours; Churchill credited the Battle of Britain victory to regular siestas. People rarely mention the successful sleepers – Ariana Huffington, Jeff Bezos, Sheryl Sandberg, Ellen DeGeneres – and patrons of 7-8 hours every night.
Science is in favour of more sleep promoting better brain function. Aside from books, there are lots of other hobbies or pastimes you could squeeze into that last couple of hours before bed. From blue light keeping your brain buzzing to simple distraction, phones prevent sleep quantity, it could be a good idea to have them out of the way.
4. You’ll be alert at the right times
… and when it comes to sleep quality, a few emails before bed or “just a couple” of YouTube videos to unwind are no better. How about that 3am drunk call from your best mate, wanting to chat through their life? Technology tricks your brain into being on edge and constant alert. It interrupts and makes the depth of your sleep far shallower.
Switch over to the books or magazine and, if you’re concerned about missing emergency calls, get a landline and give the number to the important people. By having the phone constantly ‘there’ you’re never switching off fully.
5. You’ll (FINALLY) miss out
Ever heard of FOMO? Fear of missing out? Well, the term JOMO was thrown around a few years ago and we think it should leap forwards again: Joys of missing out.
When you wake up, try to not check your phone for the first hour or so of the day. Take these mini hiatuses to focus less on how the rest of the world is telling you it does it all better and you can concentrate on what you want to achieve for the day.
6. You’ll become less lazy
In an ideal world, we would wake up with the rising sun and go to bed with its setting; however, society’s structure gets in the way a little bit.
That’s why we need alarms. The problem with a phone? You can snooze that alarm or use it for other things, like checking social media and feeling like everyone else is going to do the day better. Buying an actual alarm clock will wake you the hell up and not make the first thing you reach for your phone.
We love smartphones, obviously. But when it comes to the bedroom, here’s our little bonus list of what to do next to fix your bedtime routine.
- Buy a good book
- Find a spot away from your bed to keep your phone at night (or remove it entirely)
- Get at least 7 hours consistently for a couple of weeks – see how it feels
- Buy an alarm clock
Any other smartphone tips? Does your phone live in the bedroom? Let us know in the Comments.
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