With the rise in popularity of products like blue-light glasses and screen time limits for certain applications, it should come as no surprise that technology is disrupting many aspects of life—but it’s your sleep that may be taking the greatest hit. A 2013 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that watching TV within an hour of going to bed can stimulate your brain and prevent the vital ‘wind-down’ process that allows for an easy night’s rest.
For those of you who can’t part with your evening TV watching, do not fear—research has shown there may be a solution to post-screen restlessness. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology by Michael Scullin, PhD found that writing a detailed to-do list for the next day can effectively redirect overthinking and stressful thought-processes that often accompany a stimulated mind. Be sure you’re thorough—the greatest sleep results yielded from the most intensive task lists.
The study links the engagement of a cognitive activity prior to bed with a more restful night’s sleep; while Scullin’s example is to-do lists, journaling or other mentally ‘offloading’ activities would also suffice in helping the brain wind down for the night. Give this method a try next time you’re having a screen-induced restless night—no screen time limits required.