The smartphone is an amazing device, but that bright screen and all those non-stop notifications could be keeping you up at night. Thankfully there are a few settings you can tweak for more sleep.
Tech expert Rich DeMuro talked to Dr. Alon Avidan, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center. He says that the combination of bright blue light emitted from these screens and the constant interruptions are a recipe for disaster.
It "interrupts the sleep architecture," explained Avidan.
Here are a few ways to keep your body's natural circadian rhythm in check.
First, control those notifications at night. Avidan says they are a "cause of environmental insomnia." Go into your settings and look for a feature called "Do Not Disturb," which is available on Android, Samsung and iOS.
Set your quiet hours and the feature will only allow important notifications and calls from your favorite contacts to ring your device.
If you're worried about someone not being able to reach you in an emergency, be sure to activate the setting that allows someone to call twice in a row to ring your phone.
The next setting to change is the one that filters blue light after sunset.
"The blue light ... essentially blocks the secretion of melatonin, [which] is the one signal that allows us to fall asleep," explained Avidan.
To fix this, turn on a filter that reduces the amount of blue light your phone emits near bedtime. On iOS, the feature is called "Night Shift," you can find it in your display settings. On Android, it's called "Night Light".
Change the settings to have this feature turn on automatically from sunset to sunrise each day. If you can't find this option on your Android phone, try the Twilight app.
If you’re reading before bed on a tablet, you should activate the blue light filter there as well. If you have an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, the feature is called "Blue Shade."
Finally, check out the "bedtime" option inside the clock on iOS.
Just set your wake up time and how much sleep you want to get, and your phone will tell you when it’s time to get to bed!
So what's the benefit of a better night's sleep?
You'll "remember things better, your cognitive skills are better... mood is better." Explains Avidan. "All functions we take for granted, but they’re actually fairly achievable if we maintain a good sleep wake cycle."