Do you find yourself scrolling through your phone for hours every night? Do you think this is why you don’t get enough sleep?
Written by: Shikha Arora
Do you find yourself scrolling through your phone for hours every night? Do you think this is why you don’t get enough sleep? You’re probably right!
Excessive use of mobile phones during bedtime adversely affects the quality of sleep. This was stated in a study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS). Its increased usage is associated with fatigue and insomnia. There’s plenty of things we can do in the night before getting into bed. These aren’t things not told to us before but, things we ignore or tend to avoid. Double-tapping memes on your screens seems to be the easier and entertaining option. But, we don’t truly understand the cons of it, do we?
So, here is a list of 7 things you could do other than gluing your eyes to your phone screens before sleeping.
Make a Bedtime Routine
You toss and turn around your bed. Unlock your phone. Check your Instagram & Facebook feeds. Go through your WhatsApp texts. Check your emails. Then, you think, what if you just watch that one episode. Cut to 4 hours later, you’ve finished the whole season. Been there? We all have!
Sure, you can fall asleep even without a routine. But you never know how long that would take. Here’s where a bedtime routine would help.
You can add the next few points I mention here, in your bedtime routine but do not limit yourself to just these.
Take a warm shower
After a long day of running errands and actively using your muscles, your body needs to relax. A warm shower makes you sleep like a baby.
Also, I feel, a hot water bath is an answer to anything going wrong in my life. Bad day? Bathe. Cramps? Bathe. Got into an argument with someone? Just. Go. Bathe. After all that stress you’ve been through, it’s the best therapy. Trust me.
Make Yourself a Warm Drink
Now, I know most of you are tired by the end of the day. But honestly, it isn’t as much of a task as it sounds. It’s as simple as putting a tea bag in warm water. Doesn’t sound like a hassle now, does it?
Besides, not just does it help ease yourself before sleep, it also helps in weight loss. Stay in shape and get good sleep? It sounds like a pretty good deal to me! Here’s a very informative blog I came upon recently while looking for a few detox drinks to make for myself. It not just specifies the drinks but also gives you simple recipes to make them.
Read For Sometime
A study by Sussex University researchers showed that reading may reduce stress by 68%. Reduced stress, naturally leads to a good night’s sleep. You won't touch your phone if your eyes are tired from all the reading.
But, you must know this. Reading is not always about gaining knowledge. Before going to sleep, your brain needs to relax. It needs a break from sucking all the information throughout the day. So, my point here is, you need not necessarily read books that require a lot of brainwork.
Use Daily Journals
Journaling is not just scribbling your thoughts in a book. It’s a document of each day in your life. You can go back and read them and feel all sorts of nostalgia. It’s fun, try it for yourself! You'll notice how penning down your thoughts keeps them organised and also increases creativity. If there's no one you can share your day with, a journal's always there for you!
Here's a list of a few other kinds of journals:
You can also get e-copies of these, here.
Plan For The Next Day
It’s become really important now, while we are in a lockdown, to plan what to do the whole day. It’s okay to do things that are not productive. But make sure, you list down the things you want to do. It’ll help you keep your day organised.
I usually keep a planner on a table beside my bed. So, before I turn the lights off, I write down my to-do list for the upcoming day and I sleep peacefully knowing I am going to keep myself busy, the coming day.
Don’t Overthink. Relax!
Overthinking is one problem most of us face. Only if it wasn't for that one small embarrassing moment of the day or something that happened years ago, you'd be sleeping peacefully.
I know, it's easier said than done. But I'm here to help.
Meditation can help you get over this problem. But, let's be honest, most of us get this wrong. There are a few apps that help you meditate by providing a step by step process about how to go about it. There are also apps that help you go to sleep through music and stories. The irony, right? But it's alright as long as you don't look at your phone's screen- which reminds me, you can listen to your favourite podcasts, too. It'll help you take your mind off things that are bothering you at the moment.
Apart from these, you could do a little bit of stretching that helps release endorphins from your brain and makes you feel good. You can also go out in the open for a walk and breathe some fresh air.
There's always something to do in the night before going to bed but make sure, scrolling through your phone isn't one of them. Self-control is the key to this.
If there are a few other things you'd like to mention let me know in the comments. :)