Most people will tell you that using your smartphone while in bed isn’t conducive to a good night’s rest, whether you’re being bathed in blue light, stressing yourself out by reading the news, or scrolling through social media instead of closing your eyelids.
But what if your phone could actually help you get a better night’s sleep? Here’s how:
1. Propping your phone up with a GoDonut
You know this dilemma: You wake up when it’s still dark outside, but you suspect that your alarm is going to go off soon. Do you get up early and risk not getting enough sleep or do you try to cut a few more Zs and risk waking up groggy when your alarm goes a little while later?
It’s hard to make that decision when you don’t know what time it is, especially when you don’t want to fumble around for your phone and blind yourself when you turn on the screen. That puts you at risk of being wide awake far too early.
Solution: Use a GoDonut to keep your phone propped up on your nightstand so you don’t have to fumble for it. Setup the always-on display for your lock screen so that it always shows you the time (with a dim, non-disruptive light) or tap your phone screen to see only the digital clock display (if your phone has that capability).
This will allow you to see what time it is when you wake up in the middle of the night with less risk of putting yourself in full-alert mode, unable to fall asleep again.
2. Enable blue-light filtering
The blue light that pours out of a computer screen, TV screen, smartphone, or tablet can trigger your brain into thinking it’s time to wake up instead of fall asleep. If you must use a digital device before sleepy time, use one that can filter out the blue light coming from its screen.
Search for blue light filtering apps in your app store or see if your smartphone allows you to filter out blue light in the phone settings. Most apps also give you the option to have the blue light filter turn on and off automatically on a schedule every day.
Seeing your phone screen turn red at a certain time in the evening is also a great reminder to you that it’s time to start your nightly get-ready-for-bed routine.
3. Setup your “do not disturb” mode for nighttime
You’ve probably had this quandary: Do you turn your phone off (or put it on silent mode) at night so you can get an interrupted night’s sleep, or do you leave it on in case a close friend or family member needs to get a hold of you in an emergency?
The “do not disturb” feature in the settings on your phone allows you to have your phone go into silent mode during a certain time of the night yet still allows you to set up “favorite” contacts that won’t be silenced if they try to call or text you during your nightly slumber. Your phone will still ring or buzz when they contact you, but it will stay silent when anyone not in your “favorites” list tries.
4. Install a screen time app
If you struggle with making yourself shut out the lights at a decent time so you can get a full night’s sleep, search for a screen time app in your app store. While these types of apps can be effective in limiting how late your kids and teens can use their phones, they can do wonders for adults, too.
Some apps will turn your screen black and white at whatever time you set as your bedtime. Others will reduce your phone to just emergency functions so you’re not tempted to keep using it late into the night.
5. Try some sleep apps
Speaking of apps, there are an incredible number of them designed to aid your sleep, from apps that track your sleep quality to alarm clocks that will only go off after you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep. There are apps that play relaxing sounds and melodies and even apps that ask you questions to help you organize your thoughts so you can fall asleep more quickly.
Here are the top sleep apps recommended by:
Note: A few of these apps are designed to be used in conjunction with an Apple Watch or similar wrist device.
Just don’t stay up all night trying the apps! Happy dreams!