By now we are all aware that scrolling endlessly is not good for you especially before falling asleep. But why?
Well, the first reason is melatonin, the hormone that is directly related to sleep. We produce this hormone instantly as the daylight starts to fade, inducing sleepiness, and decreases at dawn, causing us to wake. Therefore, staring at a screen before bed keeps levels of melatonin unnaturally low when they should be in fact rising.
This, and me noticing that I was spending increasingly more time on my phone before falling asleep made me want to ditch this habit and see if anything changes.
Instead of staring at a screen, I've started reading before bed and the first week was the hardest. So, I am going to focus on this week the most, as it is the hardest period of implementing this routine. Although I loved the book I was reading, (Dior by Dior) I kept thinking that I have to fall asleep and for some reason, I wanted to keep checking my phone instead of being completely withdrawn in the story. I was surprised to notice this lack of patience as I absolutely love reading and didn't have this issue before.
What helped me:
💤 Aromatherapy: defuzing lavender essential oil (I've got a pack of 12 from Amazon)
💤 Hot tea: ginger or chamomile
💤 Being on the same page with your partner, do this together and have a good influence on each other
Another thing that I've noticed during my first week was that the first instinct when you have a bad day or you are in a bad mood is to pick up your phone and entertain yourself. This is not a healthy behaviour as you don't let the feelings consume themselves. For me, the phone acted as a band-aid, waking up with the same feelings as the previous night instead of heading to a new start in the morning. Instead, let your mind wander, think over and over again about your problem until you are done with it. Wake up with solutions instead of having the same issues.
Before trying this I thought I am a person who doesn't dream that much because I could never remember if I dreamt or not. This changed once I stopped staying on my phone at night or falling asleep watching Netflix. I started to have more in-depth sleep, with long, good dreams. I woke up fresh, with no need for coffee and feeling that I had a long sleep although I was sleeping the same amount of time as before.
At that time I didn't realise that my dreams are related to my phone, but according to Psychology Today, a study showed that screens before bed are decreasing your REM (Rapid-Eye-Movement) sleep. This is a stage of sleep that is critical for the restoration of your mind and body, as it solidifies memories and is tied to your creative and problem-solving skills. If you don't get enough of it, it will leave you feeling tired and having problems concentrating.
In the end, this was a wonderful experience and I've realised how something this small and apparently insignificant can affect your body and mind. Of course, I will keep applying this rule that now comes naturally for me. If at the beginning of the month I had problems concentrating on my reading, now it's a time that I look forward to, absolutely loving my evening routine. Besides waking up fresh, feeling that you slept like a baby, you will also manage to read a lot more! I recommend this to all of you and I promise you will see a dramatical difference that you will love.