Congratulations! You are heading into week two of our Bed & Bracket Sleep Challenge. This week we are switching gears to focus on removing a common impediment to a fulfilling night of sleep: the blue light screen of our various devices. The light exposure from your smartphone and tablet screens has been scientifically proven to promote wakefulness. The connection between technology and sleep is simple - as you become more addicted to screens your sleep quality suffers.
"As an entrepreneur, I am tethered to my phone daily. But at night, I unplug. According to SLEEP.ORG, 71 percent of people sleep either holding their smartphone, having it in bed with them, or having it on their nightstand. Not me. My screen detox tip is to keep your phone charging in the bathroom or somewhere across your bedroom and by all means turn on the Do Not Disturb so that you only receive emergency calls in the middle of the night. Keeping your phone at a distance will also help get you out of bed to turn off your alarm instead of pressing snooze 5 times."
- Michelle Brooke-Marciniak, SHEEX Co-Founder
By taking active steps to limit your exposure to technology and the bright screens that come along with it, you will align your circadian rhythms to the natural day-night cycle, conditioning your body for a restful night. For week two of the SHEEX Sleep Challenge, tackle these 7 Screen Detox challenges and see what a difference a little darkness can make:
1. Address all notifications at least one hour before bed.Compose that work email, respond to those flirty Facebook messages, and log off from your accounts with enough time to adjust to the lack of screen lighting. Disconnecting from a newsfeed for an hour will also help you calm a racing mind.
2. Cover up your clock and your phone.Set your phone to "do not disturb" so your screen does not light up in the night, immediately jarring you from sleep. Bright screens are annoying, but seeing the time tick away at night will actually cause you stress. Keep the time hidden from view to slip back into dreamland.
3. Move one screen away from your bedroom. Take stock of your space - can your computer be relocated to the den? Can you keep the TV in the living room? What if you charge your iPad in the hallway instead of on your end table? Cutting out one screen is the first step to completely cleanse your bedroom of technology and bright screens.
4. Opt for a book instead of TV to help you fall asleep. Many people need an activity to help them transition into slumber. Tonight, read a book or write in a journal as you are drifting off instead of relying on the television to fall asleep. The persistent blue light from the television inhibits the production of melatonin, which disrupts your sleep cycle.
5. Reflect or meditate for fifteen minutes before bed. This can take on many shapes - maybe you practice meditation, or perhaps you prefer prayer. Never tried it before? Tonight is the perfect time to start - a recent study determined that individuals with sleep problems experienced an increase in sleep quality after practicing a type of meditation at night that centers on focused breathing.
6. Have a meaningful conversation before you go to bed. Social media and sleep do not go hand in hand. Instead of chatting with your friends on a social platform, check in with someone you love and just talk. This is easy enough if you have a roommate or live with family, but if you're on your own, call a friend to get conversation flowing. A study on emotional similarity showed that talking to a person you connect with significantly reduces stress, putting your mind at ease in preparation for sleep.
7. Reduce the amount of blue light emitting from your phone. As we've noted, blue light messes with your body's ability to produce melatonin, but some nights you simply have to text or respond to an urgent email. Help out your retinas by changing a few settings on your phone. Enable Night Shift modeor download a blue light reduction app for your device. Sign up for the SHEEX Bed & Bracket Sleep Challenge with your email address to be entered to win this week's prize, and we'll automatically enter you to win our grand prize: a complete SHEEX Performance Sleep System! All winners will be notified via email. Visit SHEEX next week for our third Bed & Bracket theme and 7 more days of sleep challenges. Show us your results! Share your Sleep Challenge success stories on social media and use the hashtag #ScoreWithSHEEX. During week two, jumpstart your screen detox process by completing these SHEEX sleep challenges and working your way to better, deeper sleep.