All Posts

#66: 2h No Screen Time Before Bed

4 min read

Sleep is the best drug you can get for your health, but I realized I was still not satisfied with my sleep quality, so I needed to figure out the causes for that. I shifted my workout from the late evening to the morning, I bought a better pillow (now I’m sleeping without pillow, more on that in another post), I meditate in combination with breathing, I avoid caffeine, I keep my sleep schedule (also at the weekends), but I still read in the evening before bed time and I read on the Kindle with taking notes from the books in Evernote. This, I did at least in the time of 2 hours before sleeping. After experimenting I realized this was so far the last thing which affected my sleep quality in a bad way

The screens. The screen of the Kindle Paperwhite for reading and the screen of the iPhone for taking notes via Evernote.

Night Shift on the iPhone is enabled and also I’ve put the Kindle on a low light setting, but still that didn’t help, so the easiest solution was to replace these screens with something else and still keep my evening routine.

I replaced the iPhone and Evernote with Pen and Paper. The Kindle was replaced with a paper book.

Also I try to stop watching at screens 2 hours before bedtime. Maybe this will give you a hint if you have trouble having a good sleep quality. Reasons why screen time affects our sleep are quoted below:

Screen time at night keeps adults from falling asleep and sleeping well due to cognitive stimulation and sleep deprivation. Your brain’s electrical activity increases, neurons race and divert you from calming down into a peaceful state of mind for sleep. In addition the physical act of responding to an email, text, or video increases the tension in your body which results in stress. Your body then produces the stress hormone cortisol released by the adrenal gland aversive to sleep. Furthermore, the brain naturally creates the hormone, melatonin, that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Too much light from video screens at bedtime affect the melatonin production giving the body the impression you aren’t ready for sleep. In addition the screen emits light that suggests to the brain that it is still daytime which contributes to insomnia and sleep deprivation. Holding a device such as a smartphone close to one’s face increases this effect giving the brain the wrong signal as if it’s not time to go to sleep. The best advice is to stop watching TV or using smartphones and other screen devices an hour or two before bedtime to give your brain a rest and the correct signal that it is time for sleep. - Effects Of Screen Time On Adult Sleep

Another quotation and why the next level would be not reading at all before bedtime:

The blue light of your screen continuously shouts at your brain: “It’s morning, activate! the organism, get ready for action, hear me ?!”. Just by looking at the screen, even just having the screen on somewhere near your face, drives you into and keeps you in an awake mode. Of course, the very same would happen if you’d decide to visit e.g. Facebook with your phone. Keeps you actively awake and may take 30 minutes or more to replace your awake hormones with the sleep hormones required after you have put your sleep killer device aside. Reading a paper book has an opposite effect in particular because paper is not backlit. Lamp light reflected from most paper has a warmer creamier spectrum and indicates to your brain “Hey, we’re done hopping around for today, let’s spool down the system to start doing some restoration.” Consequently, your eyes tire, it becomes harder to sta awake and you much easier drift off into sleeping. There is one factor, which may affect your sleeping negatively irrespectively whether you pick it up from a screen device or from paper. This factor is what exactly you are reading. Your brain always responds to what you imagine based on the words you’re reading. Hence, an exciting, scary, or bloody story (e.g. crime, war, horror, emotional hardship, etc.) as such is either positively or negatively exciting, Hence, it drives your system up into activation mode and keeps you awake. - Answer to the Question: Does reading at night on the Kindle Paperwhite (with backlit display) prevent you from falling asleep?