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Smartphones Before Bed

Are Your Smartphone Habits Hurting You?

As a South Bay therapist, I place a lot of importance on the mental well-being of my clients. My mission is to help each of my clients achieve a healthy and happy state of mind, which is possible through the various forms of therapy that I offer. There are other practices though, outside of therapy, that you can do at home to help take good care of your mind – the first being monitoring smartphone habits before bed.

Many studies have shown that looking at our phones at night lowers the quality of our sleep. The following are some of the reasons you may want to rethink your nighttime phone rituals:

  1. Being exposed to the blue and white light given off by phones at night prevents our brains from releasing melatonin, a hormone that makes us feel tired.

  2. The lack of melatonin can make it much harder to fall asleep, as well as impact how sleepy you are the following day.

  3. An adequate night’s sleep (between 7 and 9 hours) is more important than one might think. A full night’s sleep allows the active neurons in our brains to rest, and also supports the glial cells which are integral in cleaning up the neurotoxins that build up in our brains throughout the day. When we aren’t sleeping enough, these glial cells cannot do their jobs, leaving us with impaired memories and attention spans.

  4. Certain studies have linked lack of sleep and low quality of sleep to heightened levels of anxiety and depression. Lack of sleep can stimulate parts of the brain that regulate anxiety, making it easier to feel anxious or stressed throughout the day.

  5. Besides mental health, sleep deprivation can also affect your physical health; it has been linked to weight gain and obesity. If you are sleep-deprived, your metabolism will not function properly, and two key hormones will be affected: Ghrelin and leptin. When these hormones are off balance, your body begins to believe that you are hungrier, which can lead to excessive eating and overindulging.

  6. When you are sleep-deprived, your cognitive processes are affected in a number of ways. Attention, concentration, reasoning, alertness and problem solving are all impaired if you haven’t gotten enough sleep, making it more difficult to learn and work efficiently.

  7. Chronic sleep loss can also put you at a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, irregular heartbeat, and more.

  8. After a few nights of missed sleep, people may experience puffy eyes and dark circles, but chronic sleep loss can lead to fine lines, lackluster skin, and a lack of human growth hormone which is released during sleep, and helps thicken and strengthen skin.

Contact Dr. Kelly Mothner Today!

I highly encourage all of my clients to ease up on using smartphones before bed, and instead focus on being mindful and transitioning into a good night’s sleep. If you do choose to use your smartphone before bed, try limiting the amount of blue light by dimming your phone’s brightness.

I know that choosing the right therapist is an extremely significant decision and finding the right match is vital. In my client-centered approach to therapy, the first key aspect to the healing process is the relationship between the client and therapist. I am happy to meet you and have our first initial appointment to assess your needs and goals. If you have any other questions, or are ready to schedule your an appointment with me, please reach out on my contact page, or call me at (310) 892-2572. I look forward to speaking with you!