Curating a Sleep-Promoting Feed

Does your social media feed support your sleep or get in the way of it? Typical 'sleep hygiene' advice around screen times in the evening focuses on avoiding blue light from the screen itself.

But in the experience of many of my clients, their sleep is not only impacted by the light but also by what they are actually seeing on the phone.

It's not just the light, and it's not just the nighttime either

This problem isn't limited to the nighttime hours. The images, reports, and commentary we 'consume' on social media can affect our mindset all day long – and this naturally can affect our potential for restful sleep.

The good news is that we have the power to change this – and we don't need to abandon our phones to do it!

So how can we do this? I'll share what I did.

Identify the culprits

First, I identified the kinds of posts, groups, images, and topics that tended to 'wind me up' or come to my mind later in the day and long after I'd looked at them.

More often than not, these were things that didn't make me laugh later but which concerned, upset, or irritated me.

I started by deciding what to cull

I then decided that I didn't want exposure to these things randomly throughout the day. Yes, I'm a concerned citizen, however, I figure if it's important enough, I'll hear about it. And I don't need those things waving in my face every time I pick up my phone.

I can learn about these things and then go look them up in a purposeful way and read around the issue rather than soak up a biased bubble meme curated just for my clicks and interactions.

Unintended positive consequences

A side effect is that I became not only more educated on the issues that meant the most to me – but in a time of day that worked for me! Less irritation, more education, and more time for things I like.

Then, I learned how to use social platforms fully. Every platform has different settings that I used to my advantage.

I focused on 'happy scrolling' not 'doom scrolling'

I ensured I interacted with things that were relaxing, peaceful, and fulfilling. I hid, deleted, unfollowed, or snoozed things on Facebook that were unnecessarily provocative. I muted accounts or unfollowed them on Instagram.

With platforms like Twitter, I created lists so that I could choose what kind of experience I wanted to have when I logged on. I found this tactic especially effective, particularly if I wanted to scroll in the run-up to bedtime. I could focus exclusively on topic lists that were soothing.

If you are a visual person who uses Pinterest, you could create boards full of meditations, breathing exercises, or photographs from nature.

I did take it a step further, too. My feed was not full of sleep-related products after this social media transformation.

I also stopped 'sleep stuff' scrolling

I found it unhelpful to have a feed full of products and supplements that claimed to cure my insomnia. No longer having insomnia didn't stop the stream. However since my work is online and is sleep-related, I still kept getting these things in my feed.

It took a lot of consistent effort not to 'skip the scroll' and hide these adverts. You can now also use content preferences to tell the main platforms what kind of content you want to see more or less of, too. Try it all!

If I still had insomnia and was constantly bombarded with remembering I have a problem, I can pretty much guarantee you my anxiety-prone mind would have clicked on them all.

Social media and well-being

In recent years, social media has taken a toll on my overall mental well-being, and making these changes has had a huge positive impact on me. My emotional peace is far more important than keeping up on things outside my immediate 'sphere' of impact.

By hiding things I didn't want to be shown and interacting more with things I wanted more of – like hobbies and nature – my feed transformed.

If you looked over my shoulder now, you'd see lots of birds, exercises, knitting, and gardening tips – and of course, the more helpful websites out there for sleep, such as

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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