As the trees begin to shed and the temperature drops, daylight savings time can be the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf. This time of the year, when winter is coming with the steady decline of sun and vitamin D, the pressures of school builds to a climax, and darkness becomes seemingly unending, getting proper sleep is essential.
To get more of these precious Zzzs, what many fail to recognize is that taking an extra hour off those electronics is extremely important.
It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it? You can’t sleep after a long day and you think maybe opening up Netflix or scrolling through your phone might help. The reality is, swiping through apps and having that blue light on you is very unhealthy. In fact, you are disrupting your body’s natural circadian system, and those extra late nights can’t be good for you.
If you can, try not to have your phone or laptop with you in bed, nor do any work in bed. Making your bed a place of relaxation will help you get in the mood for sleep when you finally decide to call it a night. Ideally, both shouldn’t even be in the room, but having a designated workspace is also beneficial. Not only will it put you in the mindset to work whenever you decide to do it, it will also solidify the idea that your bed means sleep.
Charging your phone in a place separate from your room is also something to consider. Many of us use it as an alarm clock; however, dealing with constant incoming texts and notifications late at night can, and most likely will, have you reaching for it.
If not having your phone in the room at night doesn’t work for you, try putting it on mute, have it lie face down, and place the charger in an outlet not directly next to your bed. Not only will it give you twice the incentive to get out of bed the next morning, but you’ll most likely leave that phone alone altogether and get a better rest. Another option is to get a blue light-dimming app for your electronics, like Lux for Apple products and Twilight for Android.
So, when it is time to turn your clocks back this winter, also take the time to separate your sleeping sanctuary from those rest-robbing culprits. Your mind, your body, and your grades will thank you for that extra hour of blissful sleep.