Where does your phone go at night? Most people scroll for hours to “wind down” before falling asleep. Most don’t know that using your phone in bed harms your health.
It may seem like no big deal to most, but there are scientific studies that have shown the adverse effects it brings. This is why using your phone in bed causes insomnia and other health problems.
Blue light is what your phone screen emits as you stare into it for hours on end. This light is actually harmful to your eyes. Research by the National Library of Medicine has shown blue light to damage your retinas.
Blue light pauses the production of melatonin in your brain, which is the hormone that causes our body to grow sleepy.
The longer your eyes are stimulated by blue light, the more it will affect your sleep cycle. Known as the Circadian Cycle, your “body clock” will become more distorted over time. The lack of melatonin hormones inhibits your body’s ability to fall asleep and wake up.
Whether you own an Apple Watch or have a sleep-tracking app on your phone, most apps break down your sleep cycle into several categories: light sleep, deep sleep, and REM.
REM is when you have dreams and more intense sleep. This stage of your sleep cycle is the most important for your memory and learning capacity.
The longer it takes for your mind to fall asleep, the less time your brain will have to recharge fully. It needs to cycle through all of the sleep stages in one night. Lack of REM sleep will ultimately cause feelings of grogginess and hinder your ability to concentrate on daily activities and tasks.
The Addiction Center has named social media usage as one of the most common forms of behavioral addiction. It is a habit that negatively affects your mental and physical wellness.
Mindless social media scrolling worsens anxiety and your inability to fall asleep. You start worrying about everything you’re looking at until you’re wide awake again.
“Doom Scrolling” is a newly introduced term in the mental health world. It speaks into the compulsion social media platforms have through the infinite amount of feed you’re able to scroll through.
Being on your phone isn’t inherently wrong. However, the information you choose to fill your mind before falling asleep deeply impacts your mental health.
Using Your Phone In Bed
The phone itself isn’t bad, but our minds often become addicted to it. Starting and ending our day with blue light and endless social media scrolling is no help for your health. If you’re having difficulty sleeping, ask yourself how your phone habits affect you.
Instead of taking sleeping pills, try removing your phone. Choose a book or some relaxing music. Listening to your body is key! Your ability to fall and stay asleep will depend on what you choose to feed your mind in the last moments of the day.