Like many people, I like to use my phone at night.
I scroll through social media.
I listen to podcasts.
I respond to texts.
And ever since I got my first phone in middle school I’ve used it late at night. However, I always knew that using my phone late at night was a bad habit.
So in 2020 I decided to try turning it off at night.
I’m now a big advocate for everyone doing just that.
Benefit #1: Improved Sleep
Phone screens produce blue light. That blue light disrupts the production of melatonin, a hormone which helps regulate circadian rhythm (your sleep cycle). Blue light exposure makes it harder to fall asleep, and also makes it harder to wake up in the morning.
When I started turning my phone off at night, I instantly recognized an improvement in sleep. I would wake up feeling more well-rested the next day, and I wouldn’t wake up as frequently in the middle of the night.
And even though it would sometimes take longer for me to fall asleep without the use of my phone, I still noticed the benefit that next morning.
Benefit #2: Clarity of Mind
This benefit has fewer roots in scientific proof. But the mental math checks out.
After I started turning my phone off at night, I started having greater mental clarity in my life.
I like to think of it this way:
Have you ever laid your head down on your pillow and noticed your thoughts moving a lot faster?
For me, this happens a lot. And typically, that’s when I’d pick up my phone and get to scrolling.
However, I now believe that nighttime thoughts are the most important thoughts of the day. And the last thing we should do is ignore them.
I believe the thoughts we have at night is our brain’s way of processing everything that happened during the day.
After all, our minds are so consumed throughout the day from dealing with work, people, the internet, and so on. So much so that nighttime is truly the only time for our mind to process everything that’s happened.
When I stopped using my phone at night, I started allowing my brain to process everything that happened throughout the day. This has led to enhanced mental clarity.
Instead of waking up and trying to process past events, I wake up with a clear mind. I even noticed that I’m less likely to pick up my phone first thing in the morning. As I have started enjoying the clarity of mind I have in those moments before my day gets going again.
Benefit #3: Reduced Exposure to Radiation
Exposure to radiation has become a big concern of mine in 2020. Throughout the day we’re constantly exposed to radiation through our devices and our wifi.
Now, according to the [FDA](https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emitting-products/cell-phones/do-cell-phones-pose-health-hazard#:~:text=Cell phones emit low levels of non-ionizing radiation when,increases cancer risk in humans.): the low levels of non-ionizing radiation a cell phone emits have not been proven to be a risk for humans.
So call me paranoid, but I like to minimize my exposure to anything that could be a detriment to my health.
That’s why I filter my water. That’s why I use glass containers instead of plastic to store food. And that’s why I believe sleeping in a room without my phone and without any electronics is good for my health.
And for these three reasons, I’m not throwing my phone away, but I’m spending my nights without it.