Ironically, I am writing this mid-yawn and am counting down the hours until my head will greet my pillow in a long-awaited exchange. Falsely promising that I would go to bed earlier last night like the average human capable of sleeping, I now sit here nursing a tired mind, dealing with the consequences of my actions. With doom-scrolling temptations handed to us on a plate by social platforms, we are now immersed in the sleep-deprived world of short videos and random clips, watching them until the coming day is heralded in through the rising sun and the morning call of birds outside.
Participating in the addiction to social media before bed will leave our sleep broken and restless- it is an endless, exhaustive cycle that is only opted out of when we choose to leave the screen. As mothers and fathers announce, ‘It’stime for bed,’ our younger selves would harrumph and heckle, perceiving this order as conscription of war. Leaving designated bed calls behind as we age, we scroll up all night, exchanging a goodnight’s sleep for a good night’s social surf.
It’s 2018, and Apple has just showcased a new feature available on the iPhone known as ‘dark mode’ to combat the blue hue of the phone screen that is keeping our brains alert and awake. Despite’s its tactical approach to protecting the sleeping routines of all iPhone owners out there, Apple cannot control the overall cognitive and psychological stimulation that the owner is exposed to when simply on their phone. When preparing for a good night’s sleep, don’t reach for night mode and hope for the best; try lowering the amount of exposure and quantity you have with simple scrolling, texting, and posting. Essentially these are all given actions that come with owning a phone, and if you were already feeling the effects of tiredness before sleep, then going on your phone will not inhibit this in any way; it will just simply reduce the quality of your sleep.
As we spend one-third of our lives sleeping, it is no surprise that our bodies are putting this time to good use in terms of repair and regrowth during slumber in some states. Getting to work removing the waste products from our brain cells and preserving our memory by processing what we learned during the day means that poor sleep hygiene feels the effects of these processes, trading in crucial memory function and leaving our brains lacking efficient cell growth. This means that not only are we interrupting the night-to-day cycle of our brain ability, but we are putting ourselves more at risk of cognitive complications in the future. The 4-7-8 breathing method, alongside putting any digital threats down 30 minutes before bed, are just a few of the methods you can try to improve your sleep hygiene. Resting your mind before your body is crucial, and remember- if you don’t sleep, your brain cells and memory function will lose.
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