Sounds like a massive contradiction I know, but stay with me!
Firstly I’m not the Yoda of sleep. In fact I’ve never been a brilliant sleeper. I used to have weekly bouts of insomnia, when no matter how many sheep I counted, I just couldn’t drift off.
But after making one very small change to the bedside table my sleep has seriously improved. And that change? Banishing my iPhone to a far away room.
The following scenario may be familiar to you …
Get into bed with your phone and spend 3 seconds setting the alarm followed by this:
“Ooh I’ll just check Facebook to see if anyone has posted any new Brexit memes. And while I’m at it I’ll scroll through Instagram to see where (insert first name) Kardashian is on vacation. Right, I better get serious now. Let’s have a quick gander at the Sky News app. Oooh did I reply to that email? Better check. Oooooh ASOS has a sale on!”
The small task of setting your alarm has turned into a 45 minute marathon of Facebooking, Instagramming, email replying, ASOS bargain hunting, holiday planning and reading about alien conspiracies.
“But Tom I need my phone next to the bed. It’s got my alarm set for the morning”
Go buy an alarm clock. I bought a nice retro looking Casio one for 6 quid on Amazon. Now you can go to bed without you phone. Leave it in another room.
This ridiculously simple swap has given me an extra hour of shut eye every night. I get to sleep quicker and haven’t wasted the best part of 45 minutes scrolling to find out if Donald Trump is really an alien.
There is also a load of stuff out about blue light (our electronic iThings emit this) and how it affects our internal body clock. It seems that staring at screens before bed tricks your brain into thinking it’s not time for sleepy night nights. Have a Google, it’s actually quite interesting.
IMPORTANT: As you’ve probably realised, I’m not a doctor or sleep scientist. But I know from my own experience how much zingier I feel when I’ve had upwards of 7 hours sleep.
Don’t just take my word for it. According to the NHS sleep improves pretty much everything.
Good night all!