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Put your phone (and yourself) on sleep mode

#self care May 20, 2021

Survey after survey shows that physicians are chronically sleep-deprived. I used to measure lost sleep not in weeks but years. 


As I’ve gotten older and less tolerant of night shifts, I have taken conscious measures to regain control over my routine.   


I tried getting an old-fashioned bedside alarm, but it just wasn’t the same peace of mind as my smartphone. As an ER physician, I’m constantly fearful of oversleeping and being late for a shift. So, I set multiple alarms on my phone to be darned sure I’m up.  


But I have learned strategies to limit my cognitive engagement with the phone. News apps and notifications are completely disabled in the evening. 


The blue light filter runs 24-7. It reduces stimulating light and makes my phone far less interesting to read or watch, thus lowering the cognitive engagement further. 


Reflecting on your own life, imagine a more rested version of yourself. Would you exercise more? Eat healthier? Perform better at work? 


If your phone may be impairing your sleep, try using these simple strategies to reclaim your bedtime routine.