From building Facebook to building sleep boxes: Mark Zuckerberg might have the solution to your sleep problems
Sleeping with our phones is so common these days, sleep texting has become a thing! Kind of like sleepwalking, only people are actually sending (usually non-sensical) texts as they remain asleep.
Even if you’re not yet sleep texting, chances are you might be sleeping with your phone close by—probably because it’s also your alarm clock—and it can have detrimental effects on your sleep.
For one, it often means you’re on your phone scrolling through all of the things you scroll through right before you go to sleep, which keeps you up later than you know you should be.
Turns out, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg might have the answer. He built his wife Priscilla what he calls a ‘sleep box.’ Apparently she has had trouble sleeping since they had kids. Like many mothers, she would wake up to check her phone to see if the kids were going to be up soon, and then she would grow stressed out about what time it was and would have trouble falling back asleep.
The sleep box Zuckerberg. built emits a very faint light between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., the time she expects her daughters to wake up. However, it doesn’t show the time, as that stresses her our and disrupts her sleep. It’s also not bright enough to wake up entirely, so she can keep sleeping soundly if she doesn’t wake up naturally. According to Zuckerberg, it’s helping her sleep through the night better than expected.
Read more about Zuckerberg’s sleep box here.
Whether you’re growing interested in getting your own sleep box, or you’re chuckling to yourself about the seemingly silly invention, the truth is sleep needs to be taken seriously, and if that means ditching your phone and acquiring a sleep box, so be it.
3 other reasons to ditch the phone from your bedside
3. That hazardous blue light again!
You have probably heard of “blue light” before, right?
During the day, blue light is helpful because it boosts your attentiveness, alertness, reaction time and mood. But at night, blue wavelengths (i.e. blue light) are not helpful. Since our devices—phones, computers—emit blue light, it can become problematic to our sleep.
Taking in too much affects your circadian rhythm, as it surpasses your secretion of melatonin, meaning your body gets messed up because it doesn’t think it’s time to fall asleep yet. Proper melatonin levels are also linked to restorative sleep (REM) and brain health, so basically take this stuff seriously…
Further, there’s also evidence that exposure to too much blue light at night can increase your chances of various diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and various cancers.
Whether you think we’re just fear wondering or not, at the very least, being on a device right before bed has been shown to take you longer to fall asleep, and not being able to fall asleep is pretty annoying (and obviously increases your risk of just not logging enough sleeping hours a night).
2. Middle of the night stress
Like Zuckerberg’s wife, many of us wake up in the night and check our phones to see what time it is. All this does, however, is make us more stressed out that it’s almost time to get up.
Not only that, looking at our phones in the night also serves to wake our eyes and bodies up more than they would if we just closed our eyes again and fell back asleep.
1. Your pillow might catch on fire?
Check out this story: This Texas teenager woke up when her phone had caught her pillow on fire.
You can’t make this stuff up!
So if you want to maximize your chances of falling asleep easily, hitting that all important REM sleep and reducing your middle of the night stress (and ensuring your pillow doesn’t catch on fire), consider leaving your phone in the kitchen at night. And, talk to Mark Zuckerberg about getting your hands on a sleep box.