Is Using Your Phone at Night Giving You Insomnia

For many people, their cellphone is their lifeline. However, phone use before bed could cause you to miss out on sleep. Keep reading to discover the correlation between cellphone use and insomnia and what you can do to get some rest—finally.

Your cellphone has many purposes — you can text your friends, surf the web, and play games before bed. However, it's also a problem when getting quality sleep. Screen time on your phone before bed could be causing insomnia, resulting in excess fatigue and other symptoms.

When you're having trouble sleeping and affecting your life, the team at Source23 Psychiatry is here to help. Kimberly Gilbert, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC is our psychiatry specialist who enables you to understand the effects of phone use on your sleep. She provides lifestyle tips and treatments to help you get a good night's sleep.

Understanding insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that involves trouble falling asleep or staying asleep several nights a week. Chronic insomnia often leads to several other symptoms,which include the following:

  • Frequently waking up during sleep
  • Waking up too early
  • Excessive daytime tiredness
  • Never feeling rested after sleep
  • Increased errors at work or home
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating

Long-term insomnia doesn't just affect your sleep; you can also suffer from health issues from sleep deprivation, including heart disease and diabetes.

Everyone usually experiences bouts of insomnia at some point in their lives. However, insomnia becomes a problem when it continues to occur, affecting your daily activities.

How your phone affects your sleep

Using your phone before bed may seem harmless, but it tremendously affects your sleep. If you're a habitual screen-scroller before bed, your rest is at risk for several reasons, including:

Brain stimulation

Looking at your phone before bed engages your brain instead of letting it wind down. Brain stimulation makes it harder for you to go to sleep, as it allows your brain to continue to process what you're looking at instead of shutting off for rest.

Blue light emissions

The blue light your phone emits tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime. The blue light mimics the sun, which throws off your circadian rhythm and makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Emotional triggers

Scrolling through social media before bed is a recipe for disaster on many levels. Let's say you see something that makes you angry or upset; these emotions set off your brain and lead to anxiety and stress. Both of these have detrimental effects on your ability to fall asleep.

Tips to avoid insomnia from screen time

If you have insomnia and our team determines it's because of nighttime phone usage, you can make some lifestyle changes for better sleep. Some of the  tips our team recommends for a good night's sleep include:

Decrease electronics use day and night

Excessive use of your phone during the day impacts your sleep as much as it does at night. Establish boundaries when using your phone during the day, and avoid using it too close to bedtime.

Establish a screen-free zone

If you have insomnia and regularly use your phone in bed, make your bedroom a screen-free zone. When you enter your room, put your phone on the charger, and find another way to wind down before sleeping.

Relax before bed

The hour before bed is vital to a good night's sleep. Establish a relaxing routine before bed that involves mindful meditation, reading, or other activities that don't include a screen.

Use night mode on your phone

If you need to use your phone before bed, ensure it's in nighttime mode. Most phones have this setting, which lowers blue light emissions that affect your sleep quality. You should still aim to limit time on your phone, even in nighttime mode, to avoid insomnia.

Invest in blue-light blockers

The blue light emissions from your phone affect melatonin production in your body and disrupt your circadian rhythm. Blue light-blocking glasses protect your eyes if you need to use your phone before bed.

You should also keep your bedroom lights dim to help you sleep. When your lights are too bright, it affects your body's melatonin production, which causes issues with your sleep cycle.

If you have insomnia and need help, call Source 23 Psychiatry at 614-908-2721 to schedule your virtual or telehealth appointment today. You can also request your virtual appointment on the website.

Psychiatry & Telehealth located in Virtual Office, Columbus, OH

Source 23 Psychiatry, LLC


4449 Easton Way, Suite 200,
Columbus, OH 43219

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Source 23 Psychiatry, LLC


9:00 am - 6:30 pm


9:00 am - 6:30 pm


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PSALM 23: 1-6

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.