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Goodnight, Smartphone: Power Down Before Bed

Tired man lays in bed with smartphone

OcusFocus/iStock

In this Article:

  • Your body runs on an internal clock that controls your sleep cycles.
  • Using electronic devices at bedtime can disrupt those sleep cycles.
  • Disconnect from your phone 30-45 minutes before bed for better rest.

Checking email or flipping channels instead of sleeping? Playing video games or browsing social media in bed? Sleeping with your smartphone under your pillow?

The National Sleep Foundation reports 90 percent of adults sleep with at least one electronic device in their bedroom. Staring at your screen after 9 p.m. can sap your body, turning you into a zombie the next day. To get a good night’s rest, consider shutting off all electronics before climbing into bed.

Your Body Clock

Your body functions on a 24-hour internal clock, which controls your sleep cycles. This clock is influenced by your physical environment and daily schedule.

Light and darkness affect your body clock. Staring at the blue glow of electronic devices—computers, tablets, televisions, gaming systems, and/or smartphones—before bedtime can trick your body into thinking it’s still daytime. It can make you tired the next day instead of at night when you should be sleeping.

Studies show staring at bright screens within four hours of bedtime reduces a hormone that makes you naturally tired when it’s time to sleep. This may cause difficulty falling asleep and poor quality of sleep.

Get off the Grid

As a Soldier, it is important to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. To get a good night’s sleep experts recommend:

  • Spending 30-45 minutes technology-free before you climb into bed
  • Making the bedroom a technology-free zone (i.e., no smartphones, tablets, laptops, TV)
  • Putting caps over electrical outlets in the bedroom to discourage plugging in
  • Reading a book or magazine in bed instead of an electronic device

Power down tonight and don’t let your technology tempt you from having a good night’s rest!

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