We often demonize cell phones in the world of sleep because 1) they emit blue light, which has been proven to impair sleep when used excessively or at night, and 2) they tend to serve as a pre-bedtime distraction that eats into a night’s sleep. Despite these valid concerns, certain phone features can actually help you get a better night’s rest. Take a look at these sleep tips to learn how your phone can actually benefit your zzzz’s.
Tips For Using Your Cell Phone to Your Sleep Advantage
Utilize Screen Time Limits
Did you know that your phone can show you how much time you spend looking at your screen? The number of hours may horrify you, but on an iPhone, you can actually set a limit for the number of hours you can use certain apps on your phone so that you don’t spend too much time on Facebook or Instagram, for example. Also on the iPhone, you can use the “Downtime” setting to set parameters around the number of notifications you get during “downtime” (typically at night, say from 8pm to 6am). During Downtime, only phone calls and apps that you specifically choose to allow will be available.
Turn on Do Not Disturb
Notifications on your phone at night can negatively impact your sleep quality and quantity. On the iPhone, you can turn on “Do Not Disturb” mode to ensure you are free from distractions and interruptions.
Try Out Sleep Apps
There are so many sleep apps out there to choose from that offer different types of sleep aids. Try a few out and see which one you like best! A few of our favorites are:
- Pzizz – It combines music, sound effects, and binaural beats to help you turn your mind off and prepare your body for sleep.
- Slumber – This app has multiple options to help you sleep, including guided meditation, bedtime stories, and the sounds of a warm jacuzzi.
- Calm – It has many relaxing sounds to choose from as well as bedtime stories created specifically for stressed adults.
Read our thoughts on a few of the most popular sleep apps here.
Listen to White Noise
Many apps, like the iPhone’s White Noise and White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds apps, offer white noise and other sleepy sounds similar to the sleep noise boxes you can find at a store. You can choose between the sounds of the ocean, rain, a fan and more to help you drift into slumber quickly and consistently.
Turn on Night Shift
If you have to use your phone before bed, it’s best to reduce or eliminate the blue light. “Night Shift” on the iPhone turns your screen to warmer colors that are less harsh.
Waking up slowly and gently can set a good start for the rest of the day and leave you feeling well-rested. Several apps can help with this, including:
- Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock, which monitors your sleep cycle and gently wakes you during lighter sleep periods rather than jolting you awake.
- Sleep as Android, which tracks your sleep and wakes you during light sleep, and it even allows you to incorporate your Spotify music into your alarms.
Many apps offer guided meditations that can help prepare your body and mind for a good night’s sleep:
- 10% Happier offers a variety of meditations, including those designed specifically for better sleep.
- Headspace helps you practice mindfulness meditation to improve sleep, reduce stress, and increase focus.
- The Mindfulness App offers a five-day guided practice as well as an introduction to mindfulness for complete beginners.
When Your Phone Isn’t Enough to Improve Your Sleep
If you’ve tried these cell phone sleep tips but are still tired all the time, you might want to consider other possibilities like the fact that you may be suffering from a condition like sleep apnea. People with this condition experience temporary cessations in breathing for short periods throughout the night, which can severely reduce sleep quality.While your phone can be tremendously helpful for sleep, it can do little to nothing for someone with sleep apnea, which requires a diagnosis to be treated. Luckily, the expertise and care you need is available right around the corner at Sleep Better Georgia. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today.