Researchers from all over the globe have established that looking at screens at night might be sabotaging your sleep. Studies have shown that being exposed to the blue and white light given off by phones, laptops, and other electronic gadgets at night prevents our brains from releasing melatonin, a hormone that tells our bodies it’s nighttime. That means it takes us longer to fall asleep. Researchers think that so many years of delaying sleep can mess with our internal body clocks.
Experts suggest stopping using any device for roughly an hour before falling asleep. Assuming every healthy adult needs eight hours of sleep each night and getting up at 7 AM is a great habit, you need to fall asleep by 11 PM each night. That’s why you need to stop using any screen after 10 PM.
Yes, it’s a great habit and yes, it’s going to be super hard. But how are you going to achieve something like this? This post discusses how you can make sure you don’t use any screens after 10 PM each night.
1. Know this is going to be hard
No matter who you are or what you do, avoiding screens at night is going to be hard. Train your brain to understand this shortcoming of yours and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Think of it as a challenge and gamify it so you can reward yourself with something you truly desire or crave so you don’t fall into the trap of not doing what you’re supposed to. Forgive yourself for not sticking to goals, but have the determination to keep pushing on. One bad day doesn’t mean you failed at the habit. One bad day means you simply need to pick yourself up and keep pushing ahead so you know you’ve got it in you to become the best version of yourself.
2. This isn’t the end of your social life
Another major reason stopping you from achieving what you want might be the fear of missing out on what’s going on in your social media channels. But contrary to your fear, staying away from screens is not going to hamper your social life.
You can use the extra time to connect with your family, your pet, your children, or even catch up on reading a book. Sure, you aren’t being socially active when you’re reading, but books fill your head with exciting ideas that you can use as conversation starters when you next meet people.
3. Get an accountability partner
No matter how hard you’re pushing yourself, doing something so big and challenging all by yourself can get tough at times. To make sure you don’t lose motivation midway, have a friend who is working on the same sleep goals. If you stay with a friend or roommate, try and get them on board. This is a great way to ensure you get good sleep and take care of your body as well.
If you aren’t able to find a friend working towards the same sleep goals, you can hire an accountability coach to help you keep on track. They are trained professionals who will hold you accountable each day and make sure you don’t fall off the wagon even if you are demotivated.
You can also download a habit tracker where you check off the days on the calendar when you managed to stick to your goal of staying away from screens after 10 PM each night. You’ll soon start craving for an unbroken streak. This can act as a great trigger and a cue for your body and mind to start your habit immediately. Soon, the idea of scrolling through your phone for a few minutes before sleeping will no longer look so attractive.