It’s no secret that we’re all a bit addicted to our phones. The plethora of screens in our lives makes it nearly impossible to exist without switching from screen to screen. As it turns out, our utilization of technology can have a huge effect on our sleep patterns. For years, studies have shown that excessive screen time is linked to the deterioration of mental and physical health (via Minnesota Department of Health), which is a huge problem for the majority of Americans, since phone addiction is so common (via Healthline).
But how do we tackle such a prevalent issue? According to experts, a great way to start is by getting your phone out of your bedroom all together. Now, we know what you’re about to say: “But what about my alarm?” Unfortunately, while our cell phones are handy for setting up our personalized alarms, the risk of having them next to our beds before and after we sleep is too high. While your intention might be to use it simply for its alarm, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the push notifications from news, that work email, or a phone call from a telemarketer. Not only would this disrupt our sleep because of our brain’s need to check those notifications, but the screen lighting up is disruptive to the production of melatonin, leading to a less than restful night (via Vogue). Therefore, the best way to combat this risk is by replacing your phone alarm with an alarm clock.
Using an alarm clock might help kick that phone addiction
Maybe it sounds a little primitive to use an old-school alarm clock to wake up in the mornings, but experts swear by it. Behavioral sleep-medicine specialist Shelby Harris, Psy.D., says that if you can’t rely on your body’s natural circadian rhythm to get you up in time, an alarm clock is the way to go. “Go old-school!” insists Harris. “It’ll keep the temptation of your smartphone out of the room and if you put it away from your bed, you have to physically get up and turn it off, which makes the snooze alarm tougher to use” (via Vogue).
The good news is, using an alarm clock doesn’t mean you’re limited to those horribly loud ones that wake you up in a panic with their aggressive ringing. The year is 2020, after all, which means you can hop onto the Internet and pretty much custom build the best kind of alarm clock for you. There are digital ones, as well as ones that mimic the rising and setting of the sun to wake you up more naturally and comfortably.
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