The one hour before going to bed is the most important hour of your next day.
Because the way you spend this one hour affects your sleep tremendously, in a positive or negative way.
How do you spend the 1 hour before bed?
Most of us use this one hour to watch movies or tv series, check email, read blogposts and so on. Unfortunately all of those activities include electronics and screens of some kind.
Using screens of any kind is very bad for your sleep and disrupts it, as research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston suggests.
They compared people reading on a screen to people reading a physical book. The screen users were less sleepy, took more time to get to sleep and stayed up later in general.
While being less sleepy when getting to bed, they were actually sleepier and less alert on the next morning.
Conclusion: Using a screen before bedtime will decrease the quality of your sleep and also the quality of your next day.
One of the main reasons for this effect is the blue light emitted from screens. Blue light decreases the melatonin (sleep hormone) production in your body and messes with your circadian rhythm.
Another reason electronics keep you awake are their distracting characteristics.
When you read a physical book, there is just the text of the book that can capture your attention.
With tablets or phones that’s not the case. Notifications, browsers, apps and other distractions are all over the place.
You have all those unproductive and tired hours during the next day, because you spend this one hour before bed with your screen.
What can you do instead?
Create an evening routine an hour before you go to bed. The benefit is that the more you do it, the more your body will get used to going to sleep after doing these things which will make it easier to pass out when you know you need to.
Things to include:
- Reflecting on the day
- Planning your goals for tomorrow
Things to avoid:
- Bright lights
- Email / social media
- Exercise, or anything stimulating (video games, etc.)
Tips on REALLY quitting the screens and executing your evening routine
Some of the ideas are quite hardcore at the first glance. But trust me, they work well.
1. Turn the WiFi off.
How to do it?
- Get everything done. Make sure whatever you have to do that requires internet access is finished an hour before bedtime.
- Pull the plug on your modem. Go to your modem and turn it off when everything you’ve set out to do is done.
- Leave your phone outside your room. The WiFi is off, so you really have no need for it anymore.
2. Try The “Phone Stand” Routine
Designate one far-from-bed place for phone use.
How to do it?
- Pick a far location. Make sure it’s a place far from your bed. Preferably the place with the only convenient outlet for charging.
- Assemble a “phone stand”. Make that place your official “phone” place preferably with a drawer. Put a chair so you won’t have to take your phone to bed to feel comfortable.
- Hide your phone. Hide it inside the drawer when you’re done and don’t forget to put it on silent mode.
- Make it a habit. Fight the urge to bring your phone with you to bed. Make the phone stand the only place you will use your phone.
3. Sign Out of Your Apps
Signing in on your social media accounts takes time and a bit of effort and that’s a good thing. Seriously.
How to do it?
- Choose your most used apps. These apps are the ones you REALLY like to browse at night.
- Sign out. Yes, literally log off from each one.
- Keep phone away from you. Make it hard for you to reach your phone. Ideally, it would have to make you get up and walk a few steps.
Source Lifehack 24th August