Tomorrow is a full day. You can’t turn off the running list of tasks that you need to complete. It’s late and you should close your eyes and try to get a good night’s sleep. . . But you can’t help yourself. It’s ok. You’re not alone – scrollers are everywhere.
One recent hospital sleep study showed that 70% of people report scrolling through social media after getting into bed. We simply can’t resist. It’s “the norm” to scan through your social media feeds, only to look up and realize that hours have flown by and your once-rested eyes are now bloodshot, and tomorrow’s big day is probably going to be accompanied by under-eye-bags. While it may seem like a harmless way to numb the mind to sleep, it's actually having some pretty negative impacts on our lives.
Is Scrolling Reshaping Your Body?
Let's start with the physical health effects. Ever heard of "text neck"? When we spend hours bent over our phones, staring down at the screen, it puts a lot of strain on our necks and backs. That mindless scrolling is all too often accompanied by mindless snacking too! We literally get lost in those screens and don’t pay attention to what (or how much) we’re putting in our mouths. This is not only opening the risk for a lifetime of chiropractor appointments, but causing unwanted calorie consumption too! These are not the body-morphing powers we hoped we would gain as technology advanced!
Scrolling Ourselves Silly
Countless studies have shown that spending too much time on social media can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Our mental health is being challenged as we invest more time and energy into social media. It's a vicious cycle: we scroll through our feeds, see everyone else's highlight reels, and feel like we're falling short in comparison. And the more time we spend scrolling, the more those negative feelings grow. It's like a dark, never-ending tunnel of self-doubt and inadequacy.
If we weren’t already beating ourselves up enough over the anxiety and FOMO from becoming super-scrollers, we can also feel the negative impact in our relationships. We've all been there: you're out to dinner with friends or family, and instead of enjoying each other's company, everyone is buried in their phones, scrolling away. It's not just disrespectful to the present company, it's also a missed opportunity to connect with the people we care about most. What’s worse, is that our mindless scrolling can start IRL arguments with the people closest to us. Checking the last Insta notification is just not worth the fight.
Loosen The Grip That Scrolling Has On You
Here are three tips to help you stop scrolling before bed:
Turn off notifications: This is game-changer. You are an adult and you have the right to decide when you are not accessible to others (via call, message, text or carrier pigeon). You’re allowed to schedule time just for yourself and mute the outside world. If you don’t do this at any other point in the day, please do it for yourself when it’s time to put your head on the pillow. When you don't have the constant ping of notifications tempting you to check your phone, you're far less likely to be a super-scroller.
Establish a calming bedtime routine: Make it a point to wind down before bed by reading a book, meditating, or doing some gentle yoga. Adding a fragrance stimulation process, like the Zen Routine's Deep Sleep Pillow spray to your bedtime routine is shown to induce sleep quicker. Less time trying to fall asleep will mean less time to be tempted to get your scroll on. In fact, a recent Healthline article showed that aromatherapy could produce additional benefits such as:
- improved sleep quality
- reduced stress, agitation, and anxiety
- soothing of sore joints
- Reduced headaches and migraines, to name a few.
Let your olfactory senses take over while you give your eyes a rest from the screen!
Ask friends to help you out: If your goal is to give yourself a grace period from mindless scrolling, don’t face this goal alone. Just like it’s easier to stick with an exercise program if you’re working out with a friend, it will be easier to stay off social media if your friends understand why you’re trying to cut back. Tell them you still “like” their stories and posts even if you’re not the first one to hit that little heart or leave a comment. Your favourite TikTok personalities will be ok with getting your likes tomorrow morning too. If you set the expectation with your friends, they may even chime in and ask you why you’re online when they bust you scrolling after hours. Accountability helps us achieve any goal.
There has been news breaking over night long before social media existed. You can get all the hottest headlines and juiciest social updates in 10 minutes tomorrow morning without sacrificing the 8 hours of shut-eye that your body needs!