After a long busy day, we might look forward to eating a nice dinner upon arrival at home. We might even watch some television to see what’s going on around in the world or a nice movie playing. In the end, the thing we look forward to the most is probably sleeping!
As you are climbing into bed, you might be thinking about your day. Perhaps, reflecting on the good things that happened that day. You might even do some meditation to help calm your mind.
Sometimes though, you might find yourself just lying there wide awake! You might start getting anxious and reminding yourself that you have to wake up early the next morning for work.
Before you know it, several minutes, or even hours have passed, and you find yourself still awake! So what’s going on? Why is it so hard to fall asleep? This might’ve been a problem for some time now and it could be due to this one habit!
Habit That is Preventing One From Falling Asleep
Many of us have this one tool called the cell phone. So what about it and why is it being brought up? Well, it is that very tool that is preventing us from sleeping at night.
With the technology we have these days, our cell phones (or smart phones) have such beautiful displays and HD graphics that is backed up by light. Light can come in different wavelengths.
The light that is emitted from our phones to display such images has a certain wavelength called “blue light”. Blue light has a wavelength that is VERY similar to the wavelength emitted by the sun.
So what does that mean? This means that your sleep-wake cycle will be affected. When exposed to blue light or sunlight, our bodies will not be able to produce a certain chemical called melatonin, which regulates our sleep cycle. During the night when there is no sunlight, our body will produce higher amounts of melatonin which will promote sleep.
However, when we use our cell phones at night, we are basically shining blue light (or sunlight) into our eyes. As a result, our bodies still think it is day time when it should really be night! Low amounts of melatonin will be produced which means no feelings of sleepiness. No wonder we have such a hard time falling asleep!
How to Change that Habit
Of course, you have probably been so accustomed to using your phone at night and it could be for legit reasons too! You might have to prepare for work a little bit by the morning or just want to have some form of entertainment before you sleep. Plus, habits are just really hard to break. You do not have to give that up!
Here are several options to help you adjust your habits:
- The first option is to switch the phone from a blue light state into a red light state. In other words, it would be the night mode setting on your phone. When it is turned on, you will notice that your phone will have a more orange tint to its display. In doing so, your phone will stop emitting that blue light that is affecting your ability to sleep.
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- The second option is to purchase blue light glasses. These are special glasses that actually filter out blue light. With the first option, though you won’t be expose to blue light, you will see that orange tint. Sometimes, that can be a little irritating when you want to see things on your phone with better quality and color.
These blue light glasses have the ability to reduce some of that orange tint so that the display on your phone can be truer to their real color. Additionally, these glasses are waterproof and scratch resistant.
- The third option would be to set a time for when to stop using your cell phone at night. Give yourself about an hour or so of a break from electronic usage before your ideal sleep time. i.e. If you want to sleep at 12 AM, maybe stop using your phone around 11 PM.
Now that you are aware that blue light emitted from our electronics is the culprit for keeping us up at night, you can start changing some habits. Again, it is either by switching to night mode, wearing blue light glasses, or setting a time when you don’t use any electronics.
Hopefully you can start seeing improvements in your sleep with these small changes in habits! Happy sleeping!
Of course, blue light isn’t the only factor that may be keeping us up at night. Click here to learn more about insomnia.
There is another tool that we rely heavily upon for sleep and it might not be what you think it to be. Click here to find out what it is.