Sleep isn’t optional. It’s a necessary, a biological process that restores and replenishes your energy, so you’re delivered to the following day equipped and sharp enough to conquer it. While mobile phones can sometimes feel like the only thing keeping it all together, the relationship between mobile phone use and sleep quality cannot be understated.
It’s complicated. Life is basically lived in that palm-sized device these days. However, failing to grasp the effects of mobile phone usage on sleep, particularly before bed, is a disservice to you, your health, and ultimately, your progress. It’s convenient to dismiss the effects of smartphones on sleep as secondary to your success. But it’s imperative to understand:
The relationship between your mobile phone usage and sleep quality is unmistakable, and failing to adopt healthy habits, especially before bed, is nothing short of self-negligence.
If there’s one thing we’re committed to at OMOTON, it’s ensuring everyone has the opportunity to flourish. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, getting a full night’s rest shouldn’t be a question. As smartphones continue to monopolize our lives, the global impact of using mobile phones on sleep worldwide must be addressed and surmounted.
Because a pandemic of sleep deprivation is a pandemic of collective underachievement. And, at OMOTON, we believe in progress. Not stasis, and not regression.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it, shall we? For everyone wondering exactly what the correlation is between your smartphone and sleep quality, we’ve got you covered. Here is our extensive, comprehensive guide to cell phones and sleep deprivation.
The effects of late-night mobile phone usage on sleep
Blue light blues
When considering the connection between mobile phone use and sleep quality, it’s essential to understand the blue light your screen emits is a prime culprit in mitigated sleep quality. However, first, you must understand what blue light is.
Blue wavelengths aren’t all bad. Particularly during the day, they can be used to your advantage. Blue light is proven to enhance attention, reaction times, and even mood. But at night, there’s no light more disruptive than blue light.
In fact, it’s proven that blue light suppresses the production of melatonin. This is a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle, commonly referred to as your circadian rhythm. This alone makes it significantly more difficult to fall asleep, and consequently, less alert the next day.
This blue light yields some of the most detrimental effects of smartphones on sleep. Even dim blue light can severely impede your circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion. Because it has such a short wavelength, your circadian rhythm is particularly vulnerable.
This means you should treat it with the utmost care.
Studies even reveal a correlation between exposure to light at night and diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It’s important, however, to consider the biological and natural implications and reasons behind the damaging effects of blue light.
Before we invented artificial lighting, our primary source of light was from the sun. This means, at night, our bodies are accustomed to the darkness. But, now, we can’t escape it. Moreover, while light of any kind suppresses melatonin production, blue light is in a league of its own.
It’s undeniable that our phones and technology have enabled us to develop and evolve in ways Darwin couldn’t fathom himself. But it’s time for us to adapt. Which is the bedrock of progress.
Now, it’s not always bad to be more alert. In fact, if you’re burning the midnight oil, using your phone this way could very well be considered a life hack. Still, it’s essential to remember that there’s a time and place for being alert. And that’s not in bed, right before going to sleep.
Because one of the more damaging aspects of the relationship between late-night phone usage and sleep quality is it increases your overall alertness. This, ultimately, makes it significantly harder to go to sleep. Just as importantly, it originates and manifests in different ways.
For example, if you just received a scathing email or an incendiary social media post you didn’t agree with (especially if you don’t agree with it), falling asleep and relaxing will be inordinately more difficult. This is especially true when your emotions surge.
Even if the content you’re consuming is benign and doesn’t elicit much of a response, keeping your mind engaged by scrolling through your timeline, feed, or whatever, fools your brain into thinking it needs to stay awake. This psychological engagement cannot be understated.
More information, more entertainment, and more emotion simply keep your mind going. Considering that an estimated 3.8 billion people across the world have smartphones, the global impact of using mobile phones on sleep worldwide is real.
Checking your phone stimulates your brain. It makes you more awake and increases engagement. Even a quick glance could reactivate your brain and keep you awake. Simply put, there is a verifiable connection between cell phones and sleep deprivation.
Remember that you don’t always have to be available. You don’t always have to immediately answer, respond, post, scroll, like, or share. Setting these boundaries is essential for your health. By now it’s clear: mobile phone use and mental health are intrinsically linked.
Ruining the next day before it begins
When you stay up too late, whether it was to check emails, respond to texts, or because you checked your phone too soon (and went down a YouTube rabbit hole) before bed and couldn’t fall asleep, the next day is often a wash.
When you’re tired, you’re less alert and considerably less sharp. Even worse, when you get in the habit of looking at your phone and allowing it to affect your sleep, it’s easy to fall into a vicious cycle. Like any pest, one sleepless night easily breeds a whole litter.
Chronic sleep deficiency is a real and debilitating disorder that’s a direct threat to your success and can have devastating health consequences. Not only does it affect your ability the next day, but there are proven health hazards associated with chronic sleep deprivation. These include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Heart failure
- Decreased sex drive
- Effects on appearance
However, more importantly, when you don’t sleep, you aren’t your best self. You truly can’t capitalize on each opportunity the day presents to you. The mental impact of not sleeping could prove disastrous for you and your career.
In fact, there’s a proven connection between lack of sleep, mobile phone use, and mental health. This triangulation of contributors is imperative to assess, and studies even show they generate direct consequences on your cognitive function. These include:
- Slowed thinking
- Worsened memory
- Reduced attention span
- Poor or risky decision-making
- Mood changes
- Lack of energy
Losing sleep is never good. Even if you think it’s worth it, the price you pay is likely far greater than you realize. Studies even show that lack of sleep is intrinsically linked to a more significant overall risk of death and lower quality of life.
REM(ember the importance of) sleep
At this point, there’s no doubt about it. It’s essential to put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode, or even better, to silence it before bed. The reason is that, even if you don’t use it when you get notifications or alerts, it often disrupts your deep sleep.
Something as simple as feeling a vibration through your pillow can be a major distraction that keeps you awake or stimulates your brain, and it can steal that much-needed REM sleep. A disruption to your REM sleep is a disruption to your personal success.
REM sleep is absolutely critical to your cognitive function. REM is an acronym for Rapid Eye Movement. During this phase of the sleep cycle, your eyes move quickly and dart beneath your eyelids. It first takes place after you’ve been sleeping for 90 minutes.
The first cycle often lasts approximately 10 minutes, with each subsequent cycle getting longer until you wake up. Disturbing this cycle has several consequences. Most importantly, REM sleep stimulates regions of your brain that are critical to learning and making or retaining memories.
Just as importantly, during this sleep, your brain exercises crucial neural connections that are indispensable to your mental and overall health. Studies even suggest that failing to get sufficient REM sleep shortens your life.
Now that you understand the connection between late-night smartphone usage and sleep quality...
...stop using it before bed! It’s recommended that you stop using devices like your phone for at least 30 minutes before you try to fall asleep. Failing to adhere to a strict cut-off ultimately impacts the quality of your sleep, which impacts the quality of your life.
To truly revolutionize your nighttime regimen and optimize each night of sleep, OMOTON’s MagSafe stand and charger is an unrivaled solution. Its MagSafe technology makes charging your device easier than ever and feels like magic, which makes going to bed feel like magic.
Just as importantly, there’s no better way to keep your phone out of reach but accessible in case of emergencies than putting it near your bedside so you can check it first thing in the morning.
So get yourself a stand already! You’ll thank us. And we promise we won’t even say, ‘I told you so.’ Though that doesn’t mean we won’t think about it. But you can’t hold that against us!
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