I Stopped Using My Cellphone As an Alarm Clock—You Should Too

Cellphones are ruining our chances at a good night’s sleep. One Vogue writer embraces the alarm clock.

Most everyone wakes up in the same exact way: to a blaring sound emitting from their cellphone. Think that’s a sweeping generalization? One survey estimates 83 percent of mobile owners in America also use it as an alarm clock. And since 85 percent of Americans have a smart device, well—do you really need us to do the math?

This isn’t groundbreaking news. iPhones and Samsungs have replaced a lot of personal technology over the past few years—flashlights, portable music players, digital cameras, and paper maps, for example, have all fallen by the wayside—and, frankly, made our many of our lives easier and better by doing so. I spent an entire childhood logging onto a Windows 2000 computer, typing “Mapquest” into Internet Explorer, then printing out seven to nine pages of streaky, borderline unreadable directions for my mother to drive me to various friends’ houses. This led to absolutely no traceable character development nor do I, nearly two decades later, feel any sort of nostalgia. In fact, the only thing I feel is lingering anxiety over “low ink” notifications.

But while swapping out our alarm clocks for our phones may have simplified our sleep routines, turns out it didn’t make them better. 

Study after study says the same thing: the blue light emitted from our phones messes up our melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Scrolling through our phones before bed also keeps our minds stimulated, making it harder to fall asleep. Even on a nightstand, we can still recognize the flashing, hearing the dinging, or feel the vibration of a notification. The “Do Not Disturb” setting helps somewhat, but not if you’re a nomophobic who checks your screen constantly.

And I, well, am. My phone is the last thing I check before going to bed and the first thing I check when I wake up. Oftentimes, I find myself tapping my screen multiple times in a minute. My Instagram use hovers in the multiple hours a day. Add in the fact that, like 70 million other Americans, I struggle with acute insomnia—and, well, for a stretch this summer, I was barely sleeping at all.

I had a choice: either I could try out sleeping pills (which plenty of people do successfully and safely use) or see if my problems could be tackled with incremental lifestyle changes. I knew that I needed to give the latter a go before I tried the former. So one hot day in August, I decided to get a Loftie alarm clock.

This story originally appeared on: Vogue - Author:Elise Taylor