πŸͺ· Wellbeing

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Mar 25, 2024

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5 min read

How Bad Sleep can lead to Bad Days (Concrete Tips)

How Bad Sleep can lead to Bad Days (Concrete Tips)

Discover how bad sleep affects your productivity and focus, and learn concrete tips to overcome distractions and phone addiction for better days ahead.

You had another rough day. From the moment you woke up, you were already at the end of your rope. Throughout the day, you kept making mistakes, feeling like you wasted time due to your inefficiency. The issue is, it's always like this! S.O.S, come help me.

You should know that sleep, often underestimated, holds a key to a healthier and mentally balanced life. Our brain and body need to rest. Thing is… in 2024, sleep doesn’t seem to be our first concern anymore. No, instead, we definitely want to know what’s going to happen in the next episode, and who’s going to miss that latest video on YouTube?

You see where I’m going? We prefer entertain ourself rather than having a good night sleep.

According to Dr. Frank Qian, quality sleep can potentially add up to 5 years to one's life – a simple equation linking good sleep with improved overall well-being. However, the difficulty lies in achieving a consistent 8 hours or more of sleep EACH night. But why is it so hard to get?

The 20’s Century Major Problem: Phones

The problem stems from the use of smartphones before bedtime. When our body is ready to get some sleep, our brain releases melatonin, as known as the sleep hormone. This hormone signals to our brains that it's time to rest. Problem? Many of us use our phones as sleep aids, whether it's watching a TV show, a YouTube video, or scrolling through TikTok and it interferes with this natural process. Result? We simply miss the signal and continue watching videos until the end of night.

| β€œLate-night screen use messes with melatonin, the sleep hormone" - Claudia GΓ³mez, psychologist.

Smartphones, though seemingly harmless, disrupt the sleep cycle due to the blue light they emit. Claudia Gomez explains that phones, due to blue light they emit, gives the brain a false daytime signal (our brains think it’s still daytime while it’s not). The National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance confirms that this disruption caused by smartphones leads to a disturbance in the biological clock.

Sleep is precious

When suggesting at least 8 hours of sleep per night, it's not just advice; it's a medical recommendation. According to experts, not getting these minimum hours of sleep has consequences beyond mere well-being. Difficulty concentrating, social problems, learning issues, performance issues, and more. The symptoms include trouble focusing, difficulty channeling attention, miscalculated reactions, and so on.

The major issue with lack of sleep is that it's challenging to make up for it. A bad night tends to linger for a while, accumulating what we call a "sleep debt." You owe your body some hours of rest, and when you owe something to your body, believe me, it comes back to haunt you, often at the worst possible moment!

As evidence, in the United States, approximately 40% of Americans admit to having fallen asleep during the day at least once a month. More broadly, studies show that around 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. So, not only are you not alone, but it's also a real societal issue.

Don’t worry, TikTok will always be around

But your

won't wait.

Better Screen Time

Made simple. See by yourself.

⚑️

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⌨️

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Don’t worry, TikTok will always be around

But your

won't wait.

Better Screen Time

Made simple. See by yourself.

⚑️

πŸ’œ

πŸ”’

⌨️

🌿

🌿

πŸŒ™

✨

Don’t worry, TikTok will always be around

But your

won't wait.

Better Screen Time

All made simple. See by yourself.

⚑️

πŸ’œ

πŸ”’

⌨️

🌿

🌿

πŸŒ™

✨

Don’t worry, TikTok will always be around

But your

won't wait.

Better Screen Time

All made simple. See by yourself.

Reestablishing a Sleep Routine

As always, we love explaining things to you, but more importantly, we want you to leave with practical tools and tips to handle things on your own. In this article, we'll be a bit brief. To be honest, there aren't a thousand things to do for a healthier sleep routine. Follow these few tips, and you'll see, it will change your life! Let's get practical.

πŸŒ› After 9:20 PM, No More Screens

The NISV (National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance) suggests cutting off screens, especially phones and tablets, about 1.5 hours before going to bed. Let's say your alarm goes off at 7 AM; ideally, you should be asleep around 11 PM. So, to be clear, from 9:20 PM onwards, no more phone.

To help you cut off, you can use Jomo, available on iPhone and Mac. With Jomo, automatically block streaming apps, social networks, and other distractions from 9:20 PM. It's tough at first, but think that you're doing this to have more stimulating and less exhausting days!

πŸ›‹οΈ Phone in The Living Room

Yes, leaving your phone on your bedside table and knowing you can't use it is extremely frustrating. Who wants to subject themselves to that? It's like leaving an open ice cream tub in plain sight and forbidding yourself to touch it... It doesn't make sense. For this, the best thing is to put the phone in another room, literally. You sleep in your bedroom, so it will spend the night in the living room. Using it as an alarm clock? Bad idea. Get yourself a good old-fashioned alarm clock!

You'll see that not having it in your sight will help you stop thinking about it. FOMO (fear of missing out) is like an addiction. It's almost stronger than us. So, let's help our brains resist by removing this big temptation from our sight.

😌 Non-Stimulating Activities

Now that we've said no to screens, what can we do instead? We're bored! Don't panic. First of all, being bored is not so bad. When you do nothing, your brain works hard. It takes this time off to sort and optimize its remaining storage. It reviews what you learned during the day, what you already knew, it gathers memories, destroys some. In constantly stimulating your brain, when do you think it can do its tidying up?

If boredom scares you, there are plenty of fun activities to do without screens: read a book, comic, graphic novel, magazine, do crosswords, mental games (like Sudoku), knitting, making bracelets, or even scoubidous (you all remember those) β€” well, personally, I never managed, but maybe you'll have more success.

πŸ“‹ Sticking To The Plan

After blocking your phone, finding an evening activity, being motivated, the hardest part awaits you: sticking to the plan. Yes, we won't solve all our problems in 2 nights. This new ritual needs to become ingrained in our daily lives and become our new routine. It's a matter of regularity. The body loves routines. In reality, it's even ideal to repeat actions robotically at first: every action, every day at the same time. Once it's really ingrained, you can be more flexible, but for the first 21 days, STRICTNESS.

Personally, I have my little very precise ritual, but if I don't stick to it, I know I'm capable of binge-watching series until 2 AM, and let me tell you, the next day, I'm ineffective. To give you an idea, here's how I like to organize myself:

  • 8:30 - 10 PM: Series, film, or calm games until 10 PM, where I cut everything off.

  • 10 PM: My phone automatically goes into "Dumbphone" mode around that time (I'll provide an article explaining how I did it).

  • 10:30 PM: I do my hygiene routine.

  • 11 PM: I go to bed. I make myself an herbal tea to accompany my evening reading.

  • 11:30 PM: I SLEEP!

Yes, it seems boring, but it doesn't matter because for me, my days are already stimulating enough. I have a lot of things to do, to think about. I rely on these moments rather than indulging in overly stimulating stuff in the evening.

πŸ“‰ Keeping a progress chart

To track your progress and setbacks, you can keep a small journal.

  • Note how long you slept (you can access this data on your iPhone through the Health app).

  • Write down what you did and note how you felt.

  • Also, evaluate how your day went (the night before).

It's important to realize that not only does every little effort count, but also the efforts you put in are rewarded. So, take 2 minutes of your time to just realize that these rituals, which may seem constraining or even frustrating at the moment, have real consequences on your day. These 3 hours before bed can positively or negatively influence 16 hours of your day (average waking time).


To sum up, sleep isn't something to take lightly. We might not realize it, but each of our actions has repercussions. Watching one more episode past 1 AM can completely ruin your day. Yes, it requires effort on your part, some "sacrifices," regularity. You might feel silly and too routine-oriented at first, but in the end, it doesn't matter if you're at your best every day that follows.

πŸ”— NHLBI
βœ‹ Illustrations by Jomo ; Photography Unsplash