3 Habits That You Need to Break When Using Your Smartphone at Night


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If you’re like us, you practically live your entire life with your smartphone in-hand. Perfect for keeping up with your friends from near and far, staying up-to-date with your remote courses, and snapping the newest Instagram-worthy posts around your fun-filled college town, your smartphone is basically a necessity to your modern life.

Yet, even though your smartphone is your most beloved accessory, it’s not completely harmless – especially when it comes to your sleeping habits. With so many of us using our smartphones late into the night, and sometimes, even sleeping alongside them, it’s clear to see that we collectively have a big problem with separating our snoozes from Snapchat, Safari, and all of the other apps that we use on a daily basis. In fact, your smartphone dependability could be the symptom causing your restless nights.

Curious to learn more about responsibly using your smartphone at night? Check out uCribs’ suggestions of 3 habits to avoid when you decide to play with your favorite mobile tech device in the late evening hours!

Leaving Your Phone On Overnight

We know – many college students use their smartphones as alarm clocks, and therefore, they must keep their phone on to wake up on time in the morning. But, hear us out for a moment. Leaving your phone on all night long really doesn’t serve much purpose, since you’re basically neglecting your device for a whole eight hours while you get some much-need shut-eye. Not to mention, receiving loud, late-night notifications can really disrupt your snoozing, especially if the tell-tale “ping” from your iPhone is loud enough to completely wake you up, or, worse, encourage you to glance at your screen.

Allowing your phone to stay on overnight also means that you’ll likely wake up with a drained battery. Before you tell yourself that this is no big deal, consider that smartphones which endure too many charging cycles suffer from reduced battery power and a shorter lifespan. In other words, constantly charging, draining, and re-charging your phone makes it more likely that your phone will experience serious technical problems after just a couple of months. So, consider swapping your phone’s alarm clock for a real one – yes, those still exist – to put in your bedroom and power down your phone before bed every night. That’s right, every single night.

Keeping Your Phone Under Your Pillow

We probably don’t need to inform you that your pocket-sized smartphone is a robust piece of technological equipment that our ancestors would deem totally revolutionary – because, well, it is! Having a miniature computer in our hands at all times is pretty incredible, not just for the convenience that it affords us on-the-go, but also since they have forever changed how people access resources, socialize with friends and family, and attend college classes. And, don’t even get us started on how awesome GIF keyboards, emojis, and FaceTime are!

That being said, your smartphone – like many other tech devices – emits electromagnetic radiation. The jury is still out on whether these emissions are potent enough to harm us. However, the World Health Organization has called the radiation “possibly carcinogenic to humans” – as in, potentially cancer-causing. What does that mean for you? Well, if you ask your pals at uCribs, we say that this is a huge reason to give up sleeping near your phone, whether it’s stuffed under your pillow or on the mattress beside you. Place it on a nightstand or in another room completely to prevent any risks down the road.

Using Your Phone Right Before Bed

As a busy college student, you have a lot of things to keep track of. So, it only makes sense that you stay plugged into the world around you via your smartphone until the moment you decide to drift off to sleep – right? Wrong! Using your phone too close to bedtime can wreak havoc on your sleeping habits. Think about it: your phone is designed to pull attention away from other obligations. Sometimes, these distractions are welcome – like when you’re taking a break from your chemistry homework – but when you’re trying to sleep, these interruptions keep your brain alert, delaying restorative REM sleep.

What’s more, the blue light omitted from your screen messes with your body’s natural supply of melatonin, or the hormone responsible for regulating your sleep cycles. The result? A lot of tossing and turning while you’re in bed and unbelievable grogginess when you wake up. So, follow doctor recommended guidelines and stop using your phone 30 minutes to one hour before bed. This will give your brain the time it needs to power down after your busy day and prepare your body for deep, restful sleep – the kind we all dream of!

You already know that your smartphone is a huge component of your daily life, but have you ever considered how it factors into your sleep habits? As these 3 pointers illustrate, there are many reasons to ditch using your smartphone at night – or even in your bedroom, period. Before you cozy up to your Samsung Galaxy tonight, consider these tips from uCribs. They might just give you the strength you need to power down your phone, turn off the lights, and enjoy a restorative night of sleep. Like, for real this time.

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Amelia Woolard is a graduate of Millsaps College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies and an Art History minor. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Amelia moved to New Orleans in 2014 to begin her career in marketing and design. She is particularly interested in the intersection of art and language, and enjoys projects that merge the two fields. Amelia is an avid yet critical pop culture consumer and a loving mother to her cat Faulkner.

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