If you’ve never heard of sleep hygiene before, that doesn’t mean you’re not participating in it. It’s similar to “personal hygiene,” but focuses slowly on your sleeping habits and how you nurture them. It’s also a lot more than shooting for those eight hours and not drinking coffee right before bed. Every person is different, which means they need to adopt various sleep hygiene habits to optimize their snooze time.
Technology can help your sleep hygiene or seriously hinder it. For example, a fantastic CPAP machine can be a lifesaver to those with sleep apnea. However, vegging out in front of the television right before bed can stimulate you so much you can’t enjoy deep sleep. Unfortunately, social media can also play a negative role in sleep hygiene. Here’s how (and how to fix it):
1. You check Facebook as soon as you wake up
Many people report browsing through newsfeeds or checking their DMs from bed and right after they turn off the alarm. This should be your time to wake gently, perhaps stretch, indulge in some warm lemon water or take care of a skincare regimen. Checking social media will just do one of two things: Anger you (such as if someone posts a political meme you don’t agree with), or get you excited and “connecting” virtually when you should be connecting with yourself.
2. You leave your notifications on at night
Many people don’t silence their phones at night in case of an emergency. What happens if a family member is in an accident, after all? However, you need to turn off social media notifications at night because even the slightest noise can disrupt your sleep and tempt you to check it. Plus, your brain is wired to connect that specific notification sound with addiction tendencies.
3. It’s where you get “sleep advice”
The goal of any marketer is to make content shareable, and spreading across social media is how “going viral” works. However well meaning your friends may be, they’re likely sharing “advice” on social media that might not be correct or best for you. From sleep hygiene to workout advice, always cross check and don’t take advice unless your doctor approves it.
4. It’s what’s (not really) putting you to bed
Want to check your newsfeed one last time in bed? This isn’t like reading a book to fall asleep. Screen time including social media keeps you stimulated and makes sleep more difficult to achieve.