Go On a Screen Diet to Sleep Better This Month

Health & Wellness By Karla

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Did you know that the light from your phone can impair your sleep, damage your skin, and disrupt your hormonal balance? Go on a screen diet this month and reap the benefits.

Control Your Portions

Raise your hand if you've ever grabbed your phone "just to check something" and next thing you know, you're binging on Instagram stories and trying out all the fun selfie filters. Yeah, same. Smartphones make it so easy to go down the rabbit hole with all the crazy apps and features, leaving our brains stuffed with way too much (unnecessary) information.Controlling your portions to only a certain amount of time per session makes it easier to focus on what you really grabbed your phone for in the first place AND allows your brain to take some time to process everything it's seen and heard. Whether you choose to use an alarm reminder or not, grab a pen and a piece of paper and not down each time you pick up and put down your phone throughout the day. You'll be stunned (and probably appalled) by how much time you actually spend looking at that small screen instead of anywhere else.

Try The Intermittent Fasting Protocol

You know that trendy thing everyone is trying nowadays? (LINK to my article) Try taking the same principle and using it with your phone. Start with the simple 12h: 12h ratio where you'll be allowed to use your phone for 12 hours of the day, putting it in the other room, letting it go to sleep or airplane mode, or even shutting it off for the other 12. It might seem really hard at first, but the more you do it, the more you'll realize you don't actually need to use your phone that much and how mindlessly scrolling became a habit we've all made part of our daily routine for no apparent reason other than "it's there and available." Once you've perfected the 12:12 ratio, try 10:14 or even 8:16 and see how much time you'll be able to allocate to doing other things-it's game-changing!

Stop The Mindless Snacking

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You're stuck in traffic, bored, and there's nothing to occupy your mind so...you reach for your phone. Or you're sitting at your desk, waiting for that email to come through and suddenly you're scrolling through social media. Grabbing the phone in these type of situations has become so automatic, we're not even aware we're doing it. Becoming more mindful allows us to stop before we act and decide to do something else instead. When the commute to work ends up being longer than usual, put on a podcast or sing along to the radio; and when you've hit some free time at work, go for a walk to clear your head or catch up with a colleague.Another great way to stop this mindless habit actually involves your phone (ironically), as there's an app called Forestwhich keeps your focused and improves your productivity by not letting you touch the phone before your imaginary planted tree has grown- if you exit the app, the tree will be killed and your progress lost. And trust us, the guilt you'll feel once you see the tree wither will make you not want to do it again.

Stop The Late-Night Binging

First of all, make your bedroom a no-phone sanctuary. By now we all know how much we underrate sleep and how extremely important it is for our overall health. Yet, we still keep doing the same mistakes night after night after night only to realize we're unable to get out of bed in the morning cause we haven't had enough sleep. Getting to bed at a reasonable time is one thing, but scrolling through Facebook and binging on funny Youtube videos is a whole different giant to fight with. Unless you deal with this problem first, there isn't a number of mindfulness tips you can implement that will help you get better-quality sleep.The blue light emanating from your screen is a so-called, HEV (high visible light) whose shorter wavelength causes it to flicker more easily, resulting in greater eye strain, potential headaches, and both, physical and mental fatigue. This is definitely not something you want to experience before bedtime as it'll make your brain stay in work-mode way past its office hours, causing trouble with falling asleep, frequent mid-night waking, and restless dreams.Dedicate the last two hours of your day to slowly distance yourself away from technology and blue screens (yes, even your Netflix shows), detoxing your brain and allowing it to get ready for a good night's sleep. Our sleep is the ONLY time in our day when we get to recharge, refuel, recuperate, and recover from everything that's a part of our daily lives, so in order to do it properly, removing the blue light obstacle may be the best contribution you'll ever make.

Ease Into It

Although jumping straight into implementing these tips and never looking back would be amazing, the reality is: the best lifestyle changes are the ones you can stick to. By taking it one step at a time, you're increasing your chances of actually making them happen, and improving your overall quality of life. You'll start noticing little things like waking up feeling refreshed, yawning and dozing off naturally when bedtime approaches, improved focus at work, better quality time with the people you love...all because you're not attached to your phone 24/7. The more of these things you notice, the easier it'll be to stay on track and prolong this month-long diet into two months, three, or more.

Living without our phones would be impossible, we all know that, but we've come to a point where we literally can't seem to do anything without having them glued to our hands and it's impacting everything in our life, including sleep. Try this phone diet for a month and notice how quickly things will start to change. 

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