Hands up if you’re reading this in bed on your mobile phone…
You’re not alone.
Whether Kim Kardashian’s backside is breaking the internet or we’re obsessing over kitten vines, social media surfing ‘til well past midnight is now, sadly, the norm. Hands that once reached out for a significant other are now more likely to be groping for an iPhone.
That feeling of dread when you’re out of battery, data or coverage has even coined a new phrase: Nomophobia; the fear of being out of mobile contact.
With one in two of us declaring ourselves sufferers for heightened mobile-related anxiety and 63% of smartphone users aged 18-29 actually sleeping in bed with either their phone or tablet device (HuffPost and You Gov), here at Land of Beds we think it’s about time bedrooms were reclaimed as a ‘Mobile-free Zone’.
Reading back that sentence makes even us feel a bit queasy, but Harvard academic Professor Charles Czeisler has come out with science talk that’s even scarier.
Back in the pre-electric light era, our ancestors’ brains were naturally programmed to give them a ‘second wind’ to get them through the afternoon ‘til sunset.
Nowadays, while we’re busily checking our emails; WhatsApping our friends; and posting under-the-covers Snapchats, that nasty artificial mobile backlight is craftily playing with chemicals in your brain – disrupting your body clock; preventing the nightly release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and activating neurons that boost alertness.
And there’s no denying that the “just one more scroll” culture is seriously eating into our sleep routines. Around 70% of Brits now sleep for seven hours or less a night (Sleep Council), with nearly a third regularly experiencing poor-quality sleep.
The end result of less hours’ sleep? “Greater risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and strokes in adults and concentration problems in children,” Professor Czeisler said.
Now you can see the importance of turning off, how do you actually do it? If you get separation anxiety at the mere thought of going to bed minus your favourite plus one, here are our top five tips:
Buy an alarm clock: You know, one of those old-school devices solely designed to wake you up! Shockingly, more than 60% of 16 to 34-year-olds use their phone as an alarm clock, which immediately puts scrolling temptation right at your fingertips. Cut out that temptation by not having a practical reason to have your mobile to hand.
Be a role model: If you want your partner to cut back on bedtime mobile phone usage, there’s no use tapping away under the duvet yourself. If you share your bed, share your commitment to going mobile-free at night-time.
Find a new hot new read: Remember books: portals to knowledge, entertainment and humour? If you need a distraction technique based around reading, make it a sleep-promoting one that does not involve an electrical screen. The Richard & Judy Book Club is an ace guide to hot new paperback and hardback reads you’ll love.
Boost melatonin production at night: Turn off your TV. If you’re favourite programme is on late at night, record it. Listen to soothing music or try a gentle exercise routine. Make sure your curtains create a black-out effect and replace super-bright bulbs with low-wattage versions instead.
Create a sanctuary: A mobile-free bedroom that’s more tempting than finding out the latest on One Direction’s shock split? It’s going to need to be pretty special… Invest in a bed that’ll cradle you so good, you won’t even dream of your mobile. Our summer sale is now on!