Is there anyone out there who doesn’t sleep with their cell phone on their headband, even if it’s switched off at night? Journalist Ally Head took her phone out of her bedroom, initially for 9 months, and the results were impressive.
Indeed, the Marie Claire UK health editor must be the only person we’ve ever heard of who has been known to leave their phone on purpose anywhere other than their bedside table.
We’re not saying it’s a good habit to sleep with your phone open and next to your head. Nor that it’s beneficial to scroll down for a long time every night until you decide to go to sleep.
But, if something like this happened, i.e. someone took our phone and placed it during the night in a room other than the one we would be in, we would manage to get it back from him by any means, unless he was a sumo athlete and had sat on it, in which case we would have no chance of challenging him to a fight and winning, with the prize being the little blue screen we have become slightly addicted to.
So how did Ally Head manage it, as she describes in her recent article? It all started with the extent of her fatigue. Last year she was close to burnout, despite the fact that her diet was balanced, she exercised regularly and tried to control her stress. However, if your phone is next to you, it’s a law that you will pick it up and start playing with it. And playing at night might not be as bad as answering emails and making notes of what you have to do, as Ally did.
So at some point, she decided that her fatigue situation wasn’t going any further. Her energy had hit what you might call a “historic low,” and in the stock market of vitality, her personal shares were plummeting daily, unable to find a definitive solution other than caffeine and sugar. So, after reading a survey by the UK’s National Health Service, she decided to stop using her mobile phone at night, specifically before she goes to bed, as using it during this time can cause a range of negative emotions and put obstacles in the way of good, quality sleep.
The experiment began last January when Ally decided to charge her phone in the hallway of the house. She wondered if she would hear the alarm clock every morning, however gradually her body began to wake up on its own. Ally definitely needs eight hours of sleep every night to be functional, and so by leaving the cell phone out of the room, she was already ensuring at least an extra hour or two of sleep, since up until then the most she could sleep was a seven-hour period.
Speaking to expert scientist Dr. Kat Lederle on her topic, she confirmed that having the screen on at night keeps the body alert and does not let it enter the process that, at some point, will result in sleep, even depriving anyone of the ability to sleep without distraction.
In the first few weeks Ally would often sit on the hallway floor at night to check her email, but gradually she got used to not having total control over what was happening on her phone apps. Then she started enjoying that the bedroom was the only place where she didn’t have to have her phone with her. After the fourth month, she began to feel her energy fully restored.
“Every morning I was fine, I could focus on work, and by 4 I didn’t feel exhausted,” Ally wrote. As exposure to the blue light of a mobile phone disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm, the absence of a mobile phone from the bedroom meant proper message transmission to the brain: “Now it’s time to sleep,” the body would say, and the brain would begin to carry out its command. The increase in her melatonin was occurring naturally, and she had now learned to live this way. Best of all? She felt free. Because she doesn’t have to have a “mini sun” in her eyes at inconsequential times of the day, or stress about missing checking something in her email.
Maybe we should try this experiment too? All it takes, other than willpower, is to leave the shutter open a little. Small price to pay for eight hours of quality sleep that gives us energy for the whole next day.
This article was syndicated from Marie Claire Greece