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An Unplugged Nighttime Routine

In this post, we will look at revamping your night-time routine through the lens of digital health (of-course).

February 3, 2021

Do you ever find yourself just lying in bed, frustrated that you can’t seem to fall asleep? Or, not feeling tired, even though you were struggling to keep your eyes open just 20 minutes before? If so, here are some tips to revamp your night routing through a digital health lens:

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Here are some practices to implement into your night-time routine:

Implement the 30-Minute Rule

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you should stop using electronic devices, like your phone, at least 30 minutes before bedtime. There are two primary reasons for this. First, the blue light that your phone emits closely resembles sunlight and this throws off your body's biological clock. Essentially, your brain is tricked into thinking it is daytime and that you should be awake. Second, when you are preparing for sleep, you should try to get into a relaxed headspace. It is fair to say that scrolling through Twitter and consuming controversial, polarizing, or viral content is usually far from relaxing.

Note that although the 30-minute rule is an excellent method, different variations that work better for different people! For example, many of our gems pair the 30-minute rule with an hour-long Opal scheduled session prior to powering down. Or, some of our gems find that a nighttime Opal session works perfectly well!

Leave Your Phone Outside the Bedroom

Reducing the urge to check your phone in bed is critical, or else, we fall into the unfortunate cycle of having trouble sleeping → checking our phone → having even more trouble sleeping → checking our phone again… over and over. The best way to do this is to eliminate the source of the problem: Don't bring your phone into the room. A common response to this proposal is, "I use my phone as an alarm clock!" So, we suggest you purchase a real alarm clock to allow you to leave your phone outside the room. It's a worthy investment. Check this one out from IKEA.

Note that if you rely heavily on your phone in the bedroom for a feature like Headspace's Sleep Stories or the Rise Sleep Tracking app, then don't worry! Again, we believe there is never a cookie-cutter solution to digital wellness practices, just as there isn't one single solution for weight loss. We encourage you to try out different methods and find what works best for you. In this case, an Opal session paired with your favorite sleep app is a killer combo!

Replace Scrolling With a More Relaxing Habit

Sometimes replacing a habit is much easier than removing one. So instead of aiming to not scroll at all, try doing something else as your final activity in your day. Here are some suggestions:

  • Light reading
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Relaxing Music
  • Warm drinks
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