The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) knows something many Americans like myself can’t seem to accept: We are hopelessly addicted to our phones, and it’s destroying our chances of a good night’s sleep. According to multiple studies, “the overuse of smartphones at night is associated with trouble falling asleep, reduced sleep duration, and daytime tiredness.”
I’m a single mom of two, and goodness, do I know tired.
The Sleep Foundation says it’s not just the device, but also the light it emits. They shared on their site:
Electronic back-lit devices like cell phones, tablets, readers, and computers emit short-wavelength enriched light, also known as blue light. Fluorescent and LED lights4 also emit blue light, which has been shown to reduce or delay the natural production of melatonin in the evening and decrease feelings of sleepiness. Blue light can also reduce the amount of time you spend in slow-wave and rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, two stages of the sleep cycle that are vital for cognitive functioning.
A typical day for me involves getting a teen to high school at silly-early-o’clock, getting a grade-schooler on the bus two hours later, working eight hours, making dinner, cleaning and prepping, and getting to bed for around six hours—only to wake up and do it all over again.
“Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions—such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression—that threaten our nation’s health.” (CDC.gov)
After turning on my Loftie alarm clock, I took the challenge of turning off my phone an hour before bed (which, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is critical for a more restful sleep.) Within two weeks, not only have I settled into a routine, I have to tell you, I barely miss scrolling TikTok at all. I feel more rested. I now wake up to Loftie’s waves and fall asleep to meditation—and I think it’s making a big difference.
Here are three ways I’m noticing a change since removing my cell phone from my bedtime routine:
- I’m not endlessly scrolling out of boredom or catching up on work. By mindfully choosing to reflect on my day with meditation or journaling, I’ve become more in touch with my feelings and what is occupying my mind.
- I wake up feeling lighter. While I could still certainly use another two to three hours of sleep, I find I wake up much more easily—especially because my Loftie doesn’t blare; it helps me gently acknowledge each morning with the soft-tone alarm I chose.
- I’ve started to enjoy sleeping—not thinking of my rest as another task on my list. By focusing on the restorative effects of sleep, I’m committing to making my life, brain, and health better—one snooze at a time.