- It is advisable to turn off all screens between 1 and 2 hours before bedtime.
- According to a 2016 INSV study, 36% of French people use their phone, computer or tablet in bed at night.
- Phone addiction is called nomophobia.
Setting your alarm clock, checking your latest notifications, then putting your phone on your bedside table before falling into Morpheus’ arms: this nocturnal ritual is a bad habit. Keeping your smartphone close to you does not help to disconnect and can affect the quality of sleep.
The risk of checking your phone at night
In his book, Digital health: the keys to a healthy use of technologySpain-based psychologist Gabriela Paoli, says leaving your phone close at night can keep us awake. “If we wake up during the night, we will surely be tempted to log on and we will lose hours of sleep whose negative consequences we will suffer the next day”she explains to the Spanish media Bienestar. Poor sleep increases the risk of being irritable and having trouble concentrating.
Rather than keeping it in the bedroom, she advises keeping it as far away as possible, and putting it in airplane mode so as not to be disturbed. “And go back to the old and healthy habits of always: the alarm clock, take a good book and listen to the radio or music to fall asleep, she continues. This way, you’ll be much more likely not to give in to the temptation to log in overnight and lose hours of rest..”
Establish a digital “curfew”
Health professionals are formal: consulting your phone before sleeping, or worse during the night, degrades the quality of sleep and delays falling asleep. “If we use the screens just before going to bed, we delay the production of melatonina hormone related to sleep”says Claudia Gómez, psychologist, at Bienestar. This harmful effect of smartphones is the consequence of the blue light they emit. She “strongly stimulates the retinal receptors, effectively sending the biological clock a signal “by day“which delays falling asleep and induces a phase delay”, explains the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance (INSV). According to these experts, a “curfew“digital: this means limiting exposure to screens in the evening, putting your phone on airplane mode to avoid untimely awakenings, and well before bedtime, limiting virtual exchanges and exposure to anxiety-provoking news as much as possible”prepare your “preserved space” for sleeping”.
When hyperconnection becomes an addiction
For some people, it will be very difficult to adopt these new habits, because the telephone sometimes becomes a real addiction. Claudia Gómez cites different signals: restlessness when the phone is not nearby, an inability to fall asleep with a switched off phone, stress when leaving the house with a discharged phone or the constant checking of notifications. If in doubt, seek the advice of a healthcare professional.