Metrolink wants to encourage people to make smart and healthy choices in order to stay healthy and productive. That starts with taking control of your stress and sleep.
Adults who sleep fewer than eight hours a night are more likely to report symptoms of stress. Meanwhile, adults who experience symptoms of stress often have a hard time falling asleep. It’s a vicious cycle that the usual busyness of life doesn’t typically afford time to address. In the midst of these uncertain times, when schedules have been greatly reduced, it’s important that you take control of your stress and sleep. Not only is this a good time to do so, it’s crucial that get the sleep your immune system needs to stay strong and your mind needs to stay productive.
While that might sound all fine and good, you may still be wondering how you can even begin to take control of your stress and sleep. It all has to do with your sleep hygiene and specifically how you use your phone at night.
Charge your device as far away from your bed as possible. If you are accustomed to having your phone in arm’s reach at all times, the distance may feel unnerving. It’s important that you address this feeling. Identify the reasons why you need to constantly have access to your phone. Consider what things you do and don’t have control over. Then, prioritize your health over work or social issues.
It’s recommended that you wind down with a (physical) book, but if you must use your phone, dim your screen or use a red filter app at night. The bright blue light of most devices can mess with your circadian rhythm and melatonin production.
Set an alarm to remind you to go to sleep and to wake up. Be consistent. Even if your evening seems wide open and you don’t need to be alert until 10:00 a.m. the next day, keep the same bedtime and waking time whenever possible. This will help train your internal clock and lend structure to your day.
If you’ve got a scrolling habit you need to kick, try an app-blocking app that makes it impossible to get lost in after-hours emails, social media or gaming.
Tell notifications to buzz off if they’re waking you up at night. Put your phone on “do not disturb” mode to block it all out when you’re trying to sleep.
I can’t speak highly enough about the light filters that certain devices have these days. My Fire tablet, for example, can be set to reduce blue light at a certain time of the night. This has proven useful for my sleep, as I find myself well-rested the following day.