Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the bare necessities: light, sleep, and self care. And there’s one key space all of these fundamentals play a HUGE role. You know I’m talking about the bedroom. 😉 We’ve already discussed getting a good night’s sleep—but just how feasible is that when our phones are involved? Our devices don’t just distract us from the day-to-day—they also impact our ability to rest, and detract from the kind of connection we’re really craving.
Blue Light: the Good & the Bad
Blue light gets a bad rap, but here’s the thing: it’s not all bad. Nor is it strictly limited to our electronic devices. Some newer LED light bulbs also cast blue light, and even the sun emits blue light! During the day, this helps increase alertness and improves memory and concentration. But if you’ve ever felt fixated in front of a screen, that’s not a coincidence.
Still, we don’t want to cut our blue light entirely, because it keeps us from feeling fatigued. Knowing the effects, it’s a smart move to implement the “20-20-20 rule” throughout your day. For every 20 minutes you spend staring at a screen, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. By giving our eyes frequent breaks, we can reduce strain—and stay out of the rabbit hole.
The real trouble comes when we receive too much blue light or artificial light at night. The light from our phones stimulates our brains, slowing and even stopping the release of melatonin, aka, the sleep hormone. And you know what that means: no deep sleep for the night! 😱
(Looking to boost your melatonin? I wrote about it here!)
New Rule: No Phones in the Bedroom!
This is the reason why I am staunchly against cellphones sitting on your bedside at night. Establishing a solid sleep routine means stepping away from the invasive blue light of televisions and smartphones to create a routine that eases you into a complete sleep cycle.
As a rule of thumb, there’s tech that’s better left outside of the bedroom in order to prepare us for a better night’s rest. Leaving our phones or tablets in the other room, hiding them, or putting them on airplane mode helps establish a relaxing bedtime routine and promotes better sleep! Limiting screen time before bed and hitting “do not disturb” can help keep us in check.
Instead of scrolling, opt for a good book or journaling session by a warm reading lamp, or reconnect with your partner with an intimate candle-lit conversation. Our beds are a space for renewal and connection, and screens tend to yield the opposite response.
Or, Put it in a Power Drawer
OK so, to be honest… I still take my phone with me into the bedroom. But when it’s time to go to sleep, I stow it away in a drawer so that it’s not the first thing I see when I wake up. If it lights up with a late-night email, I’m not going to get distracted and reach to peep that notification. Out of sight, out of mind! For bonus points, try not to open that drawer for at least one hour after waking.
This is why I recommend a bedside table with a drawer to tuck away unwanted electronics. Even better, drill a hole into the back of the drawer for charging cables, to create a power station where cords stay undetected! Plus, a nearby drawer with charging capabilities is also a good home for our other bedroom electronics, if you catch my drift. 😉
Creating a dedicated space for electronics truly can help set a consistent “screens off” time and make the space to read or meditate—something that might not have happened if the phone was within reach! Having something you enjoy to read nearby, like a magazine or book on your nightstand, is one of my favorite antidotes.
By monitoring our relationship with technology, we can better our relationships with ourselves and our loved ones. Incorporating tech boundaries allows us better rest, so that we can be present and energized to show up better for our family and ourselves. Without access to our apps, what discussions might we have, instead? There’s something to the term “pillow talk,” after all!