The obvious metaphor here is marital… Would you sleep well at night if you or your spouse brought into your bed:
– A rotating cast of very attractive people trying to resolve high-tension conflicts/dramas (Episodic shows on the TV/Ipad)
– Friends and family talking about their days in random fashion (Instagram/Facebook on Mobile)
– Bosses, direct reports and colleagues still up and working after dark. (Work emails on Mobile)
– Super-smart people from all over the world skilled at the art of prose narrative (Catching up on Journalism/Content on Mobile or iPad)
– Someone else’s gripping story of navigating modern life (Fiction on iPad, mobile or Kindle)
– An entire alternate universe with its own internal logic, rules, and community (Games on whatever device)
Furthermore, all these comings and goings in your bed are bathed in blue-photon-emitting, backlit, pixel-perfect, ever-flashing-changing-shading … LIGHT.
Doesn’t sound very restful.
And I hope you get the idea.
TV, the internet, games, and the devices we access them on are astounding/amazing/useful/funny/cool … but one all these thing are not very useful for promoting what a bleary-eyed doctor in Fight Club called:
Healthy. Natural. Sleep.
You can read about the benefits of proper sleep with the flick of a Google finger. Ditto for electronic media’s non-salutary effect on said sleep.
I’m not here to judge you. I’m here to preach to you. NO DEVICES IN THE BEDROOM!
If you have a TV in your room, take it out.
If you bring your mobile or ipad into your bedroom at night, leave them outside charging.
If you’ve never done this before, try it tonight.
If you already do this, try a “no device” moratorium 30 minutes before you go to bed. Next week, make it an hour. The week after that, 90 minutes. The week after that, see if you can go device-free after dinner time. This will probably be a little extreme, but then you are free to recalibrate what works for you and your schedule.
I started doing this several years ago, and I have never slept better or suffered from less insomnia.
But of course I cheat a little. I’m a human being in the age of the information buffet.
My vice is books.
I read them with a camping headlight. Both regular books and text on a non-backlit kindle. I rationalize this as books not being a “device.” Which, of course, they are. But their features are less harmful: no back lighting and no distracting hyperlinks or advertising.
This works for me. I usually fall asleep after 20 minutes or so of sustained reading.
What works for you? Have you tried this tactic?