Can your mobile phone really disrupt your sleep? Well, yes frankly it can. “But I can't live without it!” I hear you cry, and there's this thing called 'Nomophobia -' isn't that a good enough reason to keep our phones close at all times?
Nomophobia is the fear of being out of contact by phone. No wait, stop: this is a classified phobia really? Yes, it appears that it is.
Well actually that's quite helpful because we can treat it like other phobias. Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders and there is plenty of support available to help reduce fear and anxiety about spiders.
So maybe we can devise a plan to gradually wean ourselves off bringing the phone into our bedroom? First of all let's remind ourselves why we don't want to have a phone in the bedroom in the first place:
- The bedroom is designed to be restful, without any sources of stress or stimulation as they can be disruptive
- In general it is easiest to sleep in a quiet place, with no unexpected noise
- A cosy, warm, carefully lit bedroom is conducive to a good night's sleep
- The bedroom is an intimate space for sleeping and sex
- Relaxation before you sleep is vital
Convincing a Senior Executive of a mobile phone company to give up his phone
Here's a story about how the Director of an Irish Mobile Phone company changed his habits recently; if he can do this I'm sure we can. My advice to him was to begin with trying a night with the phone present but on silent, then an evening or so later putting it outside the bedroom door, he then choose to leave his phone downstairs and has continued to do that ever since. Not only is he sleeping better but in general his long term low back pain has resolved itself, though it occasionally returns when triggered by stress. There is lots of evidence that we need to re-balance our autonomic nervous system and relax more. This leads to better overall health as it allows the body's natural healing mechanisms to work properly.
Sleep is an investment to enable us to live well and enjoy ourselves, it also makes us feel and look better! To relax we need to empower ourselves and take control of our bedroom environment. Actual or anticipated messages and calls can trigger a low grade stress response that may disrupt our sleep.
So, in our Second Spring let's call time on 24/7 availability, with the exception of children and partners. Or maybe without exception, perhaps our children could learn to knock on the bedroom door before bursting in? Speaking personally, that would be terrific!
This post was originally published in My Second Spring.