As technology has become more advanced, more types of devices are available for the average consumer to choose from, and while technology can be massively beneficial, it also comes with its downfalls. Particularly, while ever-convenient, having our devices always with us can have us scrolling all day and all night, especially when we’re in bed and should be giving our eyeballs a break.
Whether we are looking at one of our many apps like Instagram or Facebook, we can’t seem to pull ourselves away from almost constant scrolling to see what is new. It has become so prevalent in society that Apple and Android phones have apps that let you set a scrolling limit or notify you of how many hours of screen time you’ve had. These features can help us be more mindful of exactly how much screen time we partake in daily, but they may not be able to help us stop scrolling when it matters most — before bed.
The SONU Sleep System’s unique Comfort Channel design allows you to hold your phone with your arm and wrist ergonomically supported. This astoundingly comfortable way to scroll helps allow your body to drift off the sleep more easily, even if you’re still looking at a screen. Discomfort prolongs brain activity, and leads to more scrolling. The SONU Sleep System can dramatically diminish these bad habits before sleep.
SONU Sleep is also here to help share a few helpful tips on how to stop, or at least limit, scrolling before bed.
How Can I Cut Down on Screentime?
People are spending hours a day scrolling on their smartphones. It has become important to us to see what everyone is saying and doing at all times, which has actually coined the very appropriate term “FOMO” — fear of missing out.
The average person spends over three hours a day scrolling. Without even realizing it, you may have grown accustomed to constantly scrolling on your phone, and whether for work or just social media, it may be increasingly difficult to put that phone down.
Remember the days when people would talk to each other face to face instead of constantly being on their phones in public? This is something that we can get back to if we simply cut down on screen time.
Below you’ll discover some ways of how you can spend less time on your screen and spend more time being in the present.
#1: Hide or Turn Off Your Notifications
If you have ever had the urgency to check a notification every time one pops up, we get it. But the question is… do we really need to check every single time a notification pops up? The answer is generally a hard no.
Try turning off app notifications when you are trying to focus on a project or other activity. By doing so, you’ll be one step closer to limiting scrolling, and the temptation to check your notifications will be reduced.
#2: Daily Limit Apps
On most smartphones, there are apps and features available to help your limit screen time. All you have to do is set daily limits and it will alert you when your time is up on a specific app. This will make you more aware of the amount of time you are spending on apps. By setting daily limits, you’ll be able to slowly cut back on screentime.
Beware of the “snooze” features or “dismiss” button that many will offer as an option — if you ignore the alert too often, you may find you ignore it altogether and you’re back to as much screentime as when you started.
#3: Stay Aware
While scrolling and reading the news or catching up on your apps, you are not really living in the real world. Because of mindless scrolling, you can become distracted and subconsciously removed from your daily responsibilities. To kick this habit, you need to work on staying alert in the real world. You can cut down on screentime by setting priorities and goals daily and strive to complete them.
While this can be difficult at first, as time passes you’ll start to focus on what matters instead of constantly checking your phone. After a while you may find you’re more productive, energetic and less depressed.
#3: Screen-Free Times
Setting aside screen-free time can be a tricky part of breaking your scrolling addiction. To start, try putting your phone in another room and do not pick it up for the allotted amount of time. You’ll want to start with a short amount of time, like 30 minutes to an hour. Then over time, extend the amount of time you’re away from your phone.
#4: Dim Your Screen and Take Advantage of Night Mode
As we scroll our phones in the evening, the blue light emitted from our screens actually stimulates our brains to stay awake and alert. By dimming your screen or enabling the built-in night mode that comes with many devices, you can actually lessen the amount of blue light you’re exposing yourself to, which can help you get sleepier by bedtime.
#5: Choose Apps Wisely
If you’ve never filtered through all the apps on your phone, it may be a good idea to start. Since many of us only have a handful of apps we use daily, deleting apps you never use or apps that aren’t useful can help you stay off your phone.
What helpful apps should I look for?
There are a plethora of apps that can actually help support your health. This includes meditation apps, sleep trackers, and exercise apps. These types of apps won’t require you to constantly pick up your phone. When using helpful apps, you’ll simply use them to benefit your health, whether it be tracking your exercise, recording your sleep patterns, or de-stressing with guided meditation sessions.
The Downsides of Scrolling
Scrolling through your apps right before you sleep may seem like a harmless activity, but like we mentioned, it can really affect your sleep. Besides the fact that we all get way more screen time every day than we should, putting your phone down before bed is a must. Being on any device like your phone before bed can have detrimental effects on not just your sleep cycle, but your overall health.
It Keeps Your Brain Active
The newsfeeds and apps you go through keep your mind committed to wanting to see more. Putting away your phone at least 30 minutes before falling asleep can help you get some much-needed rest. Try other calming activities like listening to soft music, reading a book, or practicing some self-care.
It Exposes You to Blue Light
Did you know that the blue light from your phone gives the same energizing effect as daylight?
Blue light and daylight inhibit melatonin release, which can lead to disrupted sleep patterns, insomnia, and trouble falling asleep since melatonin is what makes us sleepy at night.
Shutting off or putting away devices just 30 minutes before our bedtime routine will lead us to much healthier sleep, especially when paired with a calm, restful, darkened sleep environment.
It Can Interfere With REM Sleep
REM sleep occurs about an hour to an hour and a half after you fall asleep. While you sleep, your body cycles through non-REM and REM sleep cycles.
Phones can affect our REM sleep more than you may realize. Because phones are so distracting and stimulate our brains, they can delay our REM sleep from occurring.
How Can I Stop Scrolling Before Bed?
We’ve all been guilty when it comes to going on our phones right before bedtime. With the endless amounts of notifications, it can be hard to put down. Here are some remedies that may help you limit your screen time.
Set an Alarm Clock
The key to not scrolling before bed is to not depend on your phone. Man of us use our phones as alarm clocks, and as we . Instead of using your phone as an alarm clock, get an actual alarm clock so that you can put your phone down at the appropriate time before bed, and you won’t need to keep it so close by just to make sure you get up in the morning.
Charging Your Device
Many of us charge our phones on our nightstands. This can become a bad habit because the temptation of the phone is always at our fingertips. Instead, try charging your phone in another room. This may feel weird or be challenging to get used to at first because we all are used to keeping our phones so close, but it can help stop you from picking up your phone to check notifications, which can lead to checking everything else, too.
Set Up a Comfortable Sleep Environment
By setting up your sleep environment with maximum comfort, it’ll help you fall asleep with ease.
If scrolling is part of your sleep process and you really need those ASMR videos to get you relaxed and snoozing, you need to make sure you’re in a comfortable position that helps ease you to sleep even while using a device.
The SONU Sleep System’s patented Comfort Channel allows you to fully immerse your arm into the bed when positioned on your side. Instead of putting unneeded pressure on your shoulders as you hold your device, your arm finally has a space to comfortably tuck into so you’re ergonomically positioned for maximum comfort and relaxation. So, if you want to stay on your device just a little longer to enjoy relaxing videos, now you can do so in a position that’s conducive to sleep and can get you those zzzs sooner.
Habits are hard to break, but your sleep habits can improve over time if you can limit your smartphone usage. With advice from SONU Sleep, you’ll be one step closer to putting down your phone and getting a restful night of zzzs.
3 Reasons Screen Time Before Bed is Harmful | Cleveland Clinic
What is Doomscrolling and How to Avoid It
Five Reasons to Take a Break from Screens | Berkeley
Sleep-tracking devices: Dos and don'ts | Mayo Clinic
Effects of Mobile Use on Subjective Sleep Quality | NCBI
Sleep Basics: REM & NREM, Sleep Stages, Good Sleep Habits & More | Cleveland Clinic