Most of us are on our phones all day, even up until we get into bed. We scroll through Facebook and Twitter before we go to sleep, with no second thought on how this constant usage might affect us.
However, this seemingly innocent habit can have some detrimental health effects, and it might be time to take a good hard look at your smartphone habits and how they might be taking a toll on your health.
The bright blue light that emanates from your phone might be useful for checking Instagram when the sun goes down, but it’s this light that also wreaks havoc on your natural circadian rhythms. Our body’s schedule is based on natural light (we rise in the morning when the sun comes up and go to sleep when the sun goes down), but looking at your phone can disrupt this cycle. The light from your phone can confuse your body into thinking it’s daytime, which causes the brain to stop producing melatonin, the hormone that helps you get sleepy in time for bed.
This can disrupt your sleep cycle in a number of ways. First, it makes it harder to fall asleep, and once you do fall asleep, it’s harder to stay in a slumber. But the negative effects don’t stop there. Exposure to blue light can also increase your risk of depression, impair your memory, damage your vision, and even mess with your hunger levels, according to Business Insider.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, it can help to turn your phone onto night mode, which removes the blue tint from the light and creates a warmer tone, which is easier on the eyes. However, the best way to avoid these issues is by putting your phone away an hour or so before bedtime. Although you may not get to look at your friends’ latest Facebook posts before bed, you’ll also avoid any unwanted emails that might stress you out—and who can argue with that?