Why trading your screen for your pillow is crucial to your growth mindsetJul 01, 2019
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This post will benefit you if you spend time on your phone while trying to fall asleep or aren't getting enough sleep.
You hear it all the time—put your screen down before bed. Are you listening yet? If not, it’s probably time.
There are numerous studies out there that explain why being on your phone or tablet right before you fall asleep is bad for your health. One that recently came out, from the Cleveland Clinic, says that using your devices at night “keeps your mind psychologically engaged”. Basically, your brain is stimulated and active as you attempt to fall asleep. It the opposite of what should be happening to calm your body and mind before falling into REM sleep. And this is just one downfall of scrolling before bed.
In a world where most of us complain about not getting enough sleep, we don’t realize we may be doing it to ourselves. When I met my husband he wasn’t much of a technology guy and always kept his phone outside the bedroom when he slept. I ended up adopting the same habit, and it’s been one I thank him for every night.
I used to scroll through social media and email while trying to “relax” in bed. Little did I know, I was putting more information in my head than it could handle right before falling asleep. I wasn’t giving my brain true shutdown time.
Today, I leave my phone downstairs at night. I spend about 10-15 minutes reading before falling asleep. I tell myself what I’m grateful for and oftentimes don’t even finish that exercise before I fall asleep. Knock on wood, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had a hard time sleeping. I credit my “no screen time” for this.
Let’s take it a step further because if you’re still scrolling before bed it’s probably become a tough habit for you to break. Here’s how to start putting some cracks in your nighttime routine so you can get a good night’s sleep, too.
Think for a moment—what am I really gaining by looking at my phone before bed?
More power to you if you can legitimately come up with a valid reason for staring at your screen. My guess is you’re actually stressing yourself out even more than if your phone wasn’t in your hands.
Here’s what having your phone in bed does
- If you’re looking at or answering emails, it keeps you in work mode and you never have a chance to fully disengage.
- If you’re scrolling through social media, you’re focused on everyone else’s lives rather than your own. You’re in full comparison mode right before (what’s supposed to be) the most peaceful part of your day.
- Your mindset remains fixed (or unable to change) because you’re filling it with the same information night after night. Bedtime is the perfect opportunity to work on your growth mindset (making healthy changes to your patterns of thinking).
So, what can you do if you’re not scrolling? Take this time to work on your mindset. Start to grow it and make little changes.
Try one of these easy practices
- Like I mentioned earlier, reading is the perfect way to still feel like you’re doing something while slowing down your mind. As you start incorporating reading (even if it’s just a few pages) your brain will focus less on your problems and more on keeping you relaxed. Your eyes will start to become tired and you’ll probably set down your book and fall asleep shortly after.
- Think about the best parts of your day and replay them in your mind. Talk to yourself (internally) about why you’re grateful for each one and why you felt happy. You’ll quickly realize your day was better than you originally thought.
- Think about something you really want and start visualizing it. See yourself actually having it (or doing it). Put yourself in the situation and feel as if you’re really there. Do this every night and see what starts to happen in real life. Is it starting to come true? This is a really fun one to try!
Really, the screen is just a way to keep us distracted from going a little deeper within ourselves. If you find yourself still having trouble dropping the phone on the counter before heading to bed, try journaling. Take a few minutes to write down why you feel the need to have your phone by your side.
Is it to make you feel safe in case you have an emergency? Then, keep it plugged in close to your bed, but not right next to you.
Is it because you feel like you’re missing out on something (serious FOMO)? Take the opportunity to write more about why you feel this way and get to the deeper cause.
I promise, leaving your phone at the door when you go to bed is a habit you’ll love. Challenge yourself to try it two nights this week and let us know in the comments how you did.
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