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Regularly getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Sleeping well enhances memory, helps performance, boosts creativity, aids weight loss, reduces stress, and improves mental health.

Unfortunately, much of modern life is set up to disrupt healthy sleep habits.

Winding down at night by reading your phone or watching TV may feel relaxing, but the blue light emitted from those screens suppresses your melatonin, a hormone that aids sleep.

And it’s not just the light that affects your sleep. Reading news or social media can cause anxiety, causing your mind to churn when it should be settling down.

Breaking the nighttime phone habit isn’t easy, and when your phone is always within arm’s reach, it’s hard to resist.

So, here are three tips to help you cut down on phone usage after dark:

  1. Put your phone to bed in its own room (i.e. in a room other than your bedroom) before you turn in.

  2. Install an app like Offtime, Moment, BreakFree, or Flipd to monitor and control your nighttime phone usage.

  3. Buy an inexpensive alarm clock so you don’t need your phone by your bed. Look for one with a display light you can completely turn off — you don’t want to exchange one blue light for another!

What You Can Do Right Now:
Think of a new place to put your phone at night. It does not have to be Ariana Huffington’s literal phone bed. All you need is an outlet and a room out of reach of your bed.

Give these tips a try and before long you’ll not only be getting a better quantity of sleep, but better quality sleep, too.

Hilary Achauer

Hilary writes for San Diego Magazine and the CrossFit Journal, covers the CrossFit Games, and has written content for UCSD Health Services, the Rady School of Management, National University, the Moores Cancer Center, and Dr. Oz’s Transformation Nation.

Her writing has been featured in an online parenting magazine as well as a number of travel and lifestyle publications. A former children's books editor at Harcourt, Hilary once competed as an amateur boxer, but traded her gloves for barbells and now trains at San Diego Athletics.