Our smart phones can transform into endless conveniences at the touch of a virtual button these days: bank, breathalyzer, birth control—and let’s not forget, ye olde alarm clock. But as you’ve probably already suspected, using your phone as an alarm clock is something we should be avoiding in the quest for betterment—or at least better sleep.
And here’s why: unless you have the combined willpower of 1,000 monks, keeping a phone beside the bed means it’s being used. The problem? In the moments before powering down our brains, we’re overloading it with stimulation, preventing the hormonal release of sleep-inducing melatonin in the process. All artificial light is bad, according to this article in The Atlantic, but especially the harsh blue cast of a screen.
If delaying sleep wasn’t bad enough, hypervigilance is an experience that keeps our minds in a state of worry as we sleep, all thanks to our phones. Writers may recognize this example: that sensation that you’ve effectively crafted a paragraph you can recall the next day while halfway in a state of slumber. As a result, says Psychology Today, we’re more likely to feel groggy and less productive the next morning,
And while an occasional case of lost sleep isn’t life threatening, the continued dissolve that cell phones have on our shut-eye can’t be remedied by a triple dose of caffeine. Spotty sleep impairs your memory, your ability to think, even the insulin that helps regulate your metabolism, according to Dr. Siegel, a clinical professor of psychiatry, as quoted in Marie Claire U.K.
Perhaps, like us, you’ve wondered whether you may have a phone addiction, noting that you can’t go fifteen minutes without checking your phone even when it doesn’t ding, even when in theory you’d rather be spending quality time with your mate. Maybe you’ve thought about leaving it in another room at night, but darn it if you don’t rely on it to wake you up every morning. Fear not. We’ve rounded up the chicest bedside clocks that may feel like a step back in time, but really are the simplest step toward your best sleep ahead.
Like to shop for stuff for your home? Check out this story on our fave mid-century modern finds.
Collage: Emily Wraith