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  • Ryoga

Phone Addiction and Sleep Quality: No Bluelight Before Bed

Updated: Dec 22, 2023


A woman lying in bed and using a smartphone in a dark room with low light.

The sleep-sabotaging effects of our digital devices can be far-reaching, causing disruptions in our natural sleep cycles and overall health. This article will explore how the blue light emitted by our screens impacts sleep quality, and provide practical strategies for mitigating its negative effects.


What Melatonin Does to Your Body?


Melatonin, a hormone produced by our bodies, plays a crucial role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. As daylight fades, our bodies begin to produce more melatonin, signaling to our brains that it's time to prepare for sleep.


Melatonin Production and Light Exposure


Our body naturally produces more melatonin in the evening as it gets darker, signaling to your brain that it's time to start feeling sleepy and go to bed.



The Impact of Artificial Light on Sleep and Melatonin


Even a small amount of light, as low as 8 to 10 lux, can delay the release of melatonin, bedside lamps can emit twice as much light, anywhere from 20 to 80 lux. The living room, where many of us spend our evenings, is usually around 200 lux. Although it is just 1 to 2 percent of the strength of daylight. However, blue LED lights are the most powerful and have twice the negative impact on melatonin compared to warm yellow lights from older incandescent bulbs, even when they have the same brightness.



Blue Light and Sleep Quality: The Connection between Screen Time and Sleep


Blue light, the type of light with the shortest wavelength and highest energy, is particularly detrimental to sleep. When we use a device with a blue light screen for just two hours before bed can reduce melatonin levels by 23%.


Studies have shown that several hours of exposure to blue light before bedtime can suppress melatonin production by up to 50%, and delay the rise of melatonin by up to 3 hours. It makes it harder to fall asleep.



Phone Addiction and Its Impact on Sleep


If you use your phone excessively throughout the day, you likely use the phone before bed, checking social media, browsing the internet, texting friends, etc. This can lead to poor sleep quality and quantity, which means you are sacrificing your energy for the next day. Sleep deprivation can cause a lowering ability to make decisions, remember information, solve problems, learn, focus, and perform physically. If you constantly feel fatigued, both cognitively and physically, and have slept less than 7 hours for a few days in a row, it is likely the consequence of poor sleep.



Why You Should Ditch Your Phone 2 Hours Before Bed


Some recommend stopping phone usage at least 30 minutes before going to bed, while others suggest one hour before. However, if you want to optimize your sleep and reduce exposure to the potentially disruptive effects of blue light on your health, it's even better to double the recommended time. Since blue light isn't good for our health., stay away from electronic devices for as long as you can.



The Reason You Should Stop Checking Social Media Before Bed


Have you ever experienced checking social media posts and comparing someone's shiny and bright life with your reality? Even though we know it's the brightest part of other's moment, but still makes some individuals depressed. Depression causes poor sleep and could lead to frequent waking up in the middle of the night and trouble getting back to sleep.


It's absolutely better completely quit checking social media completely, but at least, stop checking at night.




Using a Phone Before Bed is Like Drinking Coffee


Some individuals say they can fall asleep after consuming coffee at night. Sure, you can fall asleep, but it doesn't equate to sleep quality. The same goes for blue light—you can definitely fall asleep right after using a phone, tablet, or laptop, but sleep quality isn't the same. If you believe you're tough and can survive any environment without a full night's sleep, then I have a challenge for you: put away every electronic device 2 hours before bedtime and survive the boredom of no internet for 2 hours.



Alternatives to Screen Time Before Bed

Instead of reaching for your phone or tablet, consider reading a paper printed book, meditating, writing in a journal, or taking a leisurely walk are all excellent ways to relax before bed, and they won't expose you to sleep-disrupting blue light.



Conclusion


No matter how long you stare at the screen before bed, it still affects your sleep quality, if time is spent on the screen longer, it makes it harder to fall asleep. While it may be challenging to break the habit of late-night screen time, the benefits to your sleep quality and overall health are well worth the effort.


By understanding the impact of screen time on sleep and taking steps to minimize your exposure to blue light in the evening, you can improve your sleep quality, boost your daily performance, and enhance your overall health and well-being. Do not sacrifice the next day's energy for instant gratification.

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