a woman with insomnia laying in her bed on her phone looking at a dog on instagram with her own dog laying at her feet

Thoughts About Your Phone and the Middle of the Night

Suffering from chronic insomnia can be incredibly lonely. After all, everyone in your world is asleep and getting their rest. You know you need your sleep in order to feel your best the next day. You hear all the time how crucial sleep is to everyone’s physical and mental health.

So, what do a lot of us do to mitigate the frustrations and feelings of isolation? We reach for our phones.

A brief escape from my own little world

While I try to minimize the frequency that I do this each night, I do notice that sometimes feeling that bit of connection to the outside world makes me feel more positive.

Looking at things that interest me often reminds me of my hopes and dreams which get me thinking about the future. It takes me out of my own little world for a short time which can ease my anxiety.

An unexpected Instagram post

After sharing something I read in the middle of the night with a loved one the following day, I received a great piece of advice I want to share. Before the advice was given, I told my loved one that I enjoy looking at my dog's Instagram account since I only follow pet accounts. This means that my feed is filled with nonstop adorable puppies and dogs which always makes me smile. I also shared that my personal fitness/lifestyle account was something that helped me feel happy and excited about life.

I then went on to say that on this particular night, something came up on my feed that I didn’t expect. It was a lifestyle expert sharing how she had to say goodbye to her dog, Phoebe, that day and how her heart was broken. I have 3 dogs whose names are Holli, Phoebe, and Penny. I had no idea this person even had a dog, let alone one with the same name as one of my girls. I follow her for something completely different and never expected to see that post.

Social media and emotional responses

After I shared this with my family member, he recommended I continue using my phone to keep me company if needed but not to view or listen to anything that could possibly elicit an emotional response. Before that night, I never thought there was any downside to looking at certain social media accounts.

As I thought about it, I realized that even a positive emotional response can stimulate the brain somehow. That stimulation could impact my ability to fall asleep. Not to mention that with social media and a lot of other things we look at on our phones, it is difficult to know when something unexpected may pop up.

Learning to minimize stimulation

I wanted to bring this up because it was an interesting way of thinking for me. I have dealt with insomnia for so long, like many of you reading this. I am continuing to reflect and do trial and error each day and night. I am working on fine-tuning my coping skills in addition to figuring out what can help alleviate some of my issues.

While I still look at those accounts sometimes, I am more conscious of focusing on things that won’t be stimulating. For example, I try to play games on my phone if I am at that point in the night where I need a break from my own thoughts.

Does social media affect your sleep?

What do you usually do in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep? Have you found scrolling through social media to be positive or negative for you? Have you had to adjust the things you do over time? If so, what led to those changes?

So many people struggle with insomnia. The more we share, the more we can help each other and show others they are not alone!

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