For many, sleep is the best part of the day. There’s not much better in life than crawling into bed after a long, hard day and getting some quality shut-eye. But for many of us, there’s a habit that’s greatly inhibiting us from getting the best possible sleep.

In today’s world, we’re glued to our phones — especially at night, because it’s a perfect time to catch up on the latest news and social media posts since we’re winding down. But there are negative effects of doing this, and it’s affecting your ability at work and just in your regular daily life.

How your screen time is messing up your sleep

According to the CDC, adult human beings require 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Phones can greatly affect our 7-9 hours in several ways. For one, it keeps our brain psychologically engaged. When we’re about to relax in bed to try and fall asleep, the last thing our brain needs is mental stimulation and entertainment from the media that we consume on our phones. It keeps our brain alert.

Additionally, the blue light from our phones spells disaster for our sleep. When preparing for bed, our body produces melatonin to get our mind ready for sleep. The blue light is an artificial color that mimics daylight, which confuses our brain. It then produces less melatonin, and instead releases cortisol, which keeps us awake.

The content that we consume on our phones can also evoke strong emotions — sad, happy, excited, etc. These alerting properties consequently delays REM sleep. This is a huge reason why you may feel groggy rolling out of bed the following morning.

What to do about it

To avoid sleep deprivation and all of the side effects that come from a lack of sleep, it’s time to incorporate healthy habits that will get you back on track.

Set boundaries – An hour before bed, set a reminder on your phone to put all of your devices away. This will give your brain an adequate amount of time to develop the proper amount of melatonin in your brain so you’ll fall asleep faster and get into REM sleep quicker.

Read a book or listen to a podcastJust because you need to put away your phone doesn’t mean you can’t entertain yourself at all. Reading or listening to a podcast are nighttime rituals that will calm your mind and get you ready for bed.

Keep your phone away from you and turn off Wi-Fi

When our phones are near us and the Wi-Fi is on and a notification goes off, it can be way too tempting to check our phones and see what’s happening. The best way to avoid this is to turn off the Wi-Fi and put your phone out of your reach. For example, if you’re in bed roughly an hour before you go to sleep, put the phone on the dresser or someplace where you can’t reach it.

We hope these tips are helpful to you. If you’d like more advice on how to be a more effective worker and productive person, click here to read more on our blog page.

Carter Recruiting and Associates is one of the largest independent recruiting and outplacement companies in Arkansas. Our headquarters, located in Little Rock and our satellite office in Conway, both service accounts nationwide. We have satisfied clients and references from some of the largest companies in the state. With over 50 collective years of experience in the recruiting business, we have a vast amount of resources and knowledge to ensure a job well done.

Cherie Richardson

Cherie Richardson

Cherie is the owner and president of Carter Recruiting and Associates. She holds a BA in psychology from the University of Mississippi and has over 30 years of experience in the recruitment of executive and manufacturing professionals. Cherie’s work has been instrumental for new plant start-ups, as well as building and maintaining relationships throughout the region and state of Arkansas. She is a member of the National Association of Female Executives and the National Association of Women Business Owners.