Turn off the tech - The Good Sleep Guide Part 1

BY FirstLight
published 05-04-19

Almost all of us could use a better night’s sleep. Maybe you’re tired right now? To help us improve our rest we’re creating the Good Sleep Guide - and first up we looked at the impact of our tech. We’ve researched. Tested products. Spoken to our online community on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to find out what works for them. So here’s what we found out about how our tech impacts our sleep and what we can do to help ourselves drift off.

We all know Netflix and scrolling Instagram in bed isn’t ideal for a good night sleep. But why? According to the experts, a big problem is the light our devices give off.

What the experts say:

In the evening, as daylight fades, your body begins to produce melatonin. As the melatonin levels rise in your body you begin to feel sleepy. These levels increase, helping you to fall and stay asleep until morning.

But tech interferes with this process. Because light, in particular, the blue light from phones, TV, and tablets suppress the production of melatonin.

Using phones and watching TV late at night tells the brain it’s not the time for sleep. Even if we do feel dozy watching - “one more episode" - we're actually delaying the onset of REM sleep, leading to that dreaded morning drowsiness. 

tips and tricks for creating a tech-free bedtime routine

  • Swap TV/the gram for a book. Some of our favorites: Why we sleep, any Harry Potter, Queenie, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Becoming
  • Put your tech in another room. Sounds obvious - but putting your phone and other devices on charge in another room when you go to bed can help to create your sleep haven
  • But I need my phone for an alarm? No, you don’t. Go old school - invest in a real alarm clock. If you’re after something special, try the Lumie clock. It creates a 30/45-minute sunset in your bedroom before sleep. Helping you to drift off naturally. It does the same in reverse to wake you in the morning instead of a klaxon.
  • If you have an Apple device, give yourself a subtle reminder to not use your phone by turning on the ‘downtime’ function. It blocks apps and turns off notifications - giving you some much-needed space.

Here’s how Sara, our wonderful Head of Yoga helps herself drift off...

10pm - Phone goes on charge and to bed for the night

10.30pm - 10 minutes of yin yoga to calm the body and prepare for bed

10.40pm - Guided meditation (Jason Stephenson - Sleep Meditation Music is a favorite of mine)

10.50pm - 10 conscious belly breaths - 4 seconds to inhale and 4 seconds to exhale