By now, most people know that screen time before bed is not conducive to good, restorative sleep. The blue light emissions actually supress the release of melatonin (the sleep hormone). This means it can be harder to fall asleep and harder to stay asleep.
It’s also been said that keeping your brain engaged before bedtime can make it harder for you to ‘switch off’ and go to sleep. So, in this world of high stimulation throughout all our waking hours, what can you do that won’t be such a hindrance to falling asleep? If you really need to be engaged in some way, how can you do that without the problem of the blue light?
Blue blocker glasses
The first thing that comes to mind is to wear blue-blocker glasses. These are yellow-tinged eyeglasses you can wear in the evening hours. They filter the blue light somewhat but there are mixed opinions on how well they work. Even so, if you try them and they work for you, pop them on from about 7pm to watch TV, use your phone or browse the internet. At first, it’s uncomfortable. Everything is so yellow. But your eyes will quickly adjust and you won’t notice it after a couple of minutes.
You can also use apps on your devices that turn down the blue of your screen at sunset. They automatically do this at the designated sunset time in your region. Look up f.lux or Google ‘blue light filter app’.
Audio instead of screens for good sleep
In an ideal world, we would be able to sit on the back veranda after dinner, look at the stars, enjoy a quiet conversation and simply wind down. Wouldn’t that be lovely? A couple of hours of chit chat, some star-gazing and a good dose of fresh air. The fact is though, most of us are so used to mind stimulation, even at night, that we’re always looking for something to keep us from being alone with our thoughts. We have some ideas.
Music streaming – Make a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music that features your favourite go-slow music. While it’s playing, get yourself ready for bed. Take off your makeup, have a bath, brush your hair, give yourself a manicure or pedicure, put on an exfoliating mask, water the plants, pat the dog. There are tons of things you can do with a lovely, soothing backdrop to keep you company.
- Meditation apps – Apps like Headspace are brilliant for any time of day when you need to check out of the world for a few minutes. When you go to bed, you can put on a Headspace sleepcast and listen to a grown-up bedtime story. Download a sleep timer app and set it for 45 minutes (or less, or more) and it’ll turn it off after you’re asleep.
- Podcasts – Again, set your sleep timer first. There are millions of podcasts you can listen to, some that may rev you up and motivate you, but others that will help you calm and relax. You might even like to find one that kind of ‘drones’ on in the background. The voices are there for company but the content may not particularly interest you.
- White noise – There are a huge number of apps that offer an endless array of background noises that you may find soothing as you drift off to sleep. Look up Relax Melodies, Calm, Chroma Doze and even Sleep Fan which, as the name suggests, sounds like you have a fan running in your room.
- ASMR – For those of you who are fans of ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), one of these videos or audios is just the trick to send you off to sleep. Even if it’s a YouTube video, you can turn off your screen, close your eyes and listen.
- Audible – These days, instant gratification comes in the form of downloadable versions of your favourite books. Now, with Audible (part of Amazon), you can download audio versions of books. Instead of reading, you can listen to the book while you lay in bed, workout at the gym, cook or go for a walk. Genius!
We hope some of these ideas help you to fall asleep. Remember that The Australian Sleep Co’s 100% natural essential oil sleep remedies can be used in conjunction with all of the above. Shop here for your preferred product.