The main purpose of a bedside table is to have a designated space to keep certain items we feel are necessary to have around either before we sleep or after we wake up. The problem, however, is when one of those things includes your phone.
These days we tend to excuse this fact because we tend to use our phones as our alarm clocks. The problem with this is that our phones are often major causes for distraction, temptation, stress, and lack of sleep. After all, how can you possibly get a good night’s rest if your phone keeps pinging you occasionally every time you receive an email, text, or notification?
There have been studies that have shown that the constant dings, the blue light emissions, and the electromagnetic fields all affect our sleep patterns as well as our overall health. So if you have to put something on your bedside table that’s not your phone, here are some things we definitely recommend.
1. A Book
Doctors recommend quitting screen time a couple of hours before your bedtime. This is because blue light actually affects our sleep. The more exposed we are to blue light closer to bedtime, the more difficult it is for us to actually fall into a deeper sleep. And it’s that REM kind of sleep that really makes us feel rested. Without it, our bodies don’t recover as well and able as they should overnight.
A book is a good way to encourage and cultivate good sleep hormones. It helps us relax, helps us wander, and keeps our brains exercised and active. After all, studies have shown that those who engaged in reading, writing, and other mentally stimulating activities were less likely to show physical signs of dementia later in life.
If you’re the type that prefers reading digitally, try getting a Kindle or other e-ink tablets. While e-ink readers with backlights do give off blue light, they do so in lesser amounts than if you were to read on your phone or tablet. For Kindle readers, there are bedside table lamps with USB ports that can also help you keep your e-ink reader charged and ready.
2. Scented Candles
If you’re finding it difficult to get some sleep due to insomnia or feelings of restlessness, then there’s probably no better time to meditate than before bedtime. Scented candles can help you set the mood and keep your mind and body calm, collected, and relaxed. They could also aid your concentration as you meditate and release all those toxic and negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions right before you hit the bed.
In this sense, scented candles are much more beneficial for your sleep than keeping your phone by your bedside.
3. An Actual Alarm Clock
Rather than rely on your phone alarm to wake you up, best to get an actual alarm clock. The benefits of using it are huge, especially since you’ll be able to resist the urge to go online every now and then to scroll through social media.
Bedside table lamps with USB ports are perfect if you prefer digital clocks over traditional ones. They also provide great lighting for those minutes you’ll be spending reading before bedtime.
4. Fresh Flowers
The biggest advantage fresh flowers have over scented candles is that they don’t need to be lit to give off that wonderful scent. Fresh flowers by your bedside can help you relax and stay calm as you climb into bed to get some sleep. The smell they give off can be soothing, especially after a hard day at work.
The purpose of the things you put by your bedside table should be to help you get better sleep. So while you may like to keep your phone close, there are a ton of benefits to keeping it further away from your bedside.
If you’re still on the fence about it, try testing it out for a week or two and try to see if there is any difference in the quality of your sleep.