I will be the first to admit, I am way too dependent on my cell phone, my email, my apps, etc. My phone goes wherever I go, even if it is in the next room; I can’t let it stray too far from me. I discovered I am not the only one heavily reliant on my phone. A report released in 2015 by Bank of America in its Trends in Consumer Mobility Report said out of 1000 respondents, 71 percent claimed they sleep with or next to their phone.
About a month ago, I was about to go to bed and place my phone on my nightstand on silent, as I always do. As I was doing this, I was thinking about my sleep habits and how I have not been getting the best night’s sleep for some time now. I am sure there are many reasons for this, but I feel like part of it might be because of that phone residing right next to me; I literally can feel the stress emanating from it. At this point, I decided to conduct an experiment that is still ongoing.
What if I left my phone in a different room? Could I do it? Would I fall apart? As I started my first night, my daughter walked in the bedroom and said, “Mom, you left your phone in the other room, did you want me to bring it to you?” I defiantly said no. My boyfriend walked in the room and asked me the same question and I once again defiantly said no.
Here is what I have found so far:
- I seem to fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer time periods. It is much more of a deep sleep. I am not worrying about what is going on in the world around me or responding to a text that comes in the middle of the night. The one thing I still have not tried that is recommended, is putting the phone away from me at least a half hour before bed. I wait until I actually go to bed. Baby steps here people!
- I do feel like I have less going on in my mind. I am not worrying as much about every little thing, what my day consisted of, or what is happening the next day. My level of stress seems to decrease. In an article from Elite Daily it states that our smartphones “put us in an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity” which if not properly managed, “can lead to stress.”
- I feel more rested when I do get up. I am an early riser and like to get to the gym before I start my day and I definitely feel more energized getting there and getting it done. Part of this seems to be attributed to melatonin. Elite Daily states that the blue light from the cell phone “disrupts melatonin production” and melatonin is the sleep hormone that maintains your body’s natural sleep rhythms; if this gets disrupted, your sleep cycle gets disrupted.
Final challenge, is that this might lead to less dependence on my cell phone throughout the day. Start choosing certain times of the day, when you just might put your cell phone out of sight for periods of time to minimize distractions. Put that third wheel away while at dinner and enjoy your food. Take control!
Thus far, I definitely would say my experiment has been a success. Could part of it all be in my mind? Sure, but regardless, if I am getting a better night’s sleep, I will take it any way I can.
Great post, Kristen. I completely agree with you and can attest to the result. My son and I started to do the same thing. On top of that, we are taking a 30-day challenge where we do not pick up the phone in our hands for the first hour that we are awake. Instead, we are journaling by jotting down these 3 things daily…..
I am grateful for…
Today I want to accomplish…..
I can not forget to………
Because we leave the house at different times, we sit down together at night and share what we wrote and what the outcome was.
We have to own the phones and no let the phones own us 🙂