Ask the experts

How your phone affects your sleep (and what to do about it)

Our digital world is both blessing and curse. Our phones have undoubtedly streamlined our lives – tech has made a multitude of daily tasks far easier – but, as with most things, these benefits come with a price tag attached. Our growing dependency on tablets, laptops, phones and new-fangled devices is leaching our energy levels – upsetting our natural ‘rhythms’ and leaving us feeling a bit ‘out of sync’.

Expert aromatherapist and Reiki master – {Michelle Roques-O’Neil} – says “our digital world can be intense and addictive. Our reliance on devices makes it easy to ‘tune out’ with hours lost in front of them but, these formerly time-saving gadgets have quickly become integrated into the fabric of our lives” and “too much exposure to these frequencies can subtly alter our energy balance” – which is why she developed a range for the ‘digitally saturated’.

Electromagnetic radiation – the wireless energy waves that surround our devices – can disrupt our bodies’ own natural electric and biochemical responses. And it isn’t just wi-fi – anything electronic, from electric blankets to baby monitors – emits constant, low-level EMFs (electromagnetic fields) that can cause sleep disturbance and even, in extreme cases, insomnia, reduced immunity and feelings of depression and anxiety.

There is also ongoing research into the impact of the blue light (HEV) emitted by screens – it’s believed to diminish production of melatonin (the ‘sleep hormone’), as well as to cause DNA degradation which leads to skin ageing (they could be the new ‘UV rays’).

Obviously, the best way to prevent EMFs from disrupting your sleep is to limit electronics in the bedroom. Easier said than done but, if you switch your phone to ‘airplane mode’ and try to leave your laptop in your living room, you’ll significantly reduce your exposure during critical periods of rest and repair. It’s also important to make sure your router is not near your bed – the radio frequency signal emitted wreaks havoc with sleep patterns (keep your wi-fi on a timer if you’re able to).

Hailed as ‘natural valium’, Michelle Roques-O’Neil’s {Himalayan Detox Salts} are great for neutralizing EMFs pre-bed. “Digital detox in a jar […] these salts were created to help with acute stress and to balance digital saturation and fatigue. Even when your mind is whirring, these salts will lull you into a deep, blissful sleep” (the 5-star reviews are a testament to their efficacy).

Laced with a potent blend of heavenly-scented essential oils (lemongrass, juniper and geranium) to encourage a feeling of calm and help counteract tension to ease your ‘wind down’, alongside powdered amethyst to neutralise the negative effects of EMF, these pretty pink salts are your fast-track to valuable Zzzs.

Michelle is eager to emphasise the import of a pre-sleep ritual. “Finding peace in a busy day is sometimes hard [and] taking a mini moment of respite can slowly ‘dissolve’ the pent-up stress levels, keeping you fresh and serene. Make relaxation part of your daily investment in yourself – quiet time is as essential to wellbeing as activity.”

Will you be taking steps to minimise your EMF exposure? Tell us your sleep ‘woes’ below and we’ll consult the experts for advice to help rekindle your relationship with rest. Reclaim your duvet (and break up with box sets).


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…