Keeping your mobile phone close to you at night can disrupt sleep, according to specialists. Viewing screens before bedtime can also be problematic for falling asleep.
Sleeping near a mobile phone that is turned on can affect the quality of sleep, according to the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance (INSV). The INSV reports that this situation can lead to a “sentinel effect”, which disturbs the brain and keeps it awake despite itself.
“When you sleep next to your phone, your brain is always awake even at night, because the Internet connection is permanent, which can lead to poor quality sleep and nocturnal awakenings,” the INSV explains in a statement.
To overcome these inconveniences, it is, therefore, advisable to turn off your phone before falling asleep, or to switch it to “airplane mode”.
The INSV further states that exposure to screens before going to bed can prevent falling asleep.
Indeed, the blue light released stimulates the receptors of the retina and disrupts the biological clock, which “delays falling asleep”.
The institute also warns against “cognitive arousal”, linked to the consultation of social networks or e-mails, which is detrimental to sleep. In order to limit these problems of falling asleep, the INSV insists on the importance of a “digital curfew”, to be put in place one to two hours before bedtime.
“It is also necessary to minimize […] the stress induced by the cyber connection in the evening before going to sleep: put an end to exchanges with the outside world and prepare one’s “protected space” to sleep… In short, a “digital curfew” should be instituted in favor of relaxing activities such as reading or music,” explains Joëlle Adrien, a neurobiologist at INSERM and president of the INSV, in a press release.