When was the last time you got on public transport and most of the passengers weren’t glued to their device? We browse our phones on our commute, type on computers and tablets at work, back to our phones on the way back home. In a study of mobile phone habits, 75 per cent of those questioned admitted to surfing the web, using apps, emailing and texting while in the toilet - with more than 90 per cent saying they had returned calls.
We can’t stand to be separated from our devices so much that we are guilty of taking them to bed with us. But our affair with our phones is having a huge impact on our sleep and as a result, a huge impact our overall health and wellbeing. Studies show that over 1.2 million Australians experience sleep disorders like insomnia, costing the economy more than $10 billion annually.
Nothing beats a good night’s rest but this can be easier said than done. While our busy lives can make it difficult to relax our minds, we can make getting some Zs easier by:
- Switching off our devices and avoiding TV at least 1 hour before bed
- Making sure your room is quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature
- Avoiding caffeine after the morning
- Making time for relaxing activities before bed such as reading a book or having a bath
"Great sleep relies on a quiet room, a relaxed mind and a comfortable bed," Professor Dorothy Bruck, Sleep Psychologist at the Sleep Health Foundation says ahead of Sleep Awareness Week (29 September - 5 October).
"One of the most important aspects of this is keeping technology out of the bedroom," she says. "We strongly suggest keeping your phone on silent or better still, in another room while you sleep so you're not tempted to check it."