using mobile phone before bed emits blue light that can keep you awake
Sleep Tips

We Know You Use Your Phone Before Bed—Here Are 3 Ways to Do It Right

You’ve heard it before—sleep experts begging you not to use electronics before bed, lest the blue-light emissions deprive you of a good night’s sleep. But no matter how many times they tell us to put the phone down or turn the TV off two hours before sleep, we don’t listen.

In this digital age of constant consumption, it’s only natural that we would want to keep up—even before bed. The moral of the story: You’re going to use electronics before bed, but these tips can help make it less disruptive.

1. Night mode: activated

Why is everyone so adamant about avoiding your phone before bed anyway? Your body releases a hormone, melatonin, when it’s time to fall asleep—and blue light emission can block melatonin secretion. Before “night mode” was a thing, it was slim pickings when looking for a blue-light-blocking app. Now, there are countless apps that promise to turn your screen from a harsh blue to a warm yellow (there are even screen protectors that will do it). Whether you’re using your phone’s built-in night mode or downloading an app like f.lux to warm up your screen color, it’s an easy way to ensure you’re not disrupting your sleep.

2. Filter the light (manually)

If you’re not sold on the app suggestion, that’s okay. Enter: blue light glasses. These glasses act as a physical barrier that helps to filter blue light, and some even work double-duty to reduce glare. You can choose from a variety of price points and frames; many brands even allow you to add your prescription to the lenses. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they’re stylish enough to wear at the office or while at home watching TV.

3. Change your medium

We encourage reading before bed, but there must be a way to read your favorite book that doesn’t involve staring at a glaringly bright e-book. Even if you’re using a physical copy, reading in dim lighting can be hard on your eyes and bad for your vision. So what’s an avid reader to do? We recommend getting nice and comfy and putting on an audiobook (preferably one with an auto-off timer). Not only is it better for your eyes, it’s also better for your sleep.

Call us dreamers, but we think you can use your electronics before bed and still get a good night’s sleep. While it’s ideal that your sleep routine include something relaxing, like a bath or a quick meditation, it’s just not realistic for everyone. With these easy tips, you’ll be on your way to slightly-less-disruptive electronic use in no time. It’s a fix that even sleep experts can get behind.

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