I am worried about my sleep. My sleep patterns are very disturbed. I wake up every 2/4 hours wide awake. This has been going on for last 4/5 years. I feel like instead of spending good 8/10 hours in bed, not having slept. My mind is clouded and I cannot think straight. On somedays I have to take power naps just to refresh my mind.
I thought maybe this is part of adult life. Stress and work pressures keep me working till 11 pm. Also since my job is about social media and web. I spend most of my time in front of my 3 screens. The Mac, Ipad and the iPhone. No wonder all these devices now come with dark mode built in them. Maybe I am not alone who has these sleep issues because of screen times.
Even if you work in the dark late in the night. You cannot completely avoid the white light. This means your circadian rhythm is getting confused. It is not able to make out day from night. This means your brain doesn’t send signals to your gut to reduce the cortisol levels and increase the melatonin levels which is needed for sound sleep.
You can of course buy melatonin pills and get addicted to sleeping pills. I prefer to correct my habits.
Some of the rules I am putting in place to reduce my screen time after 8.30 pm
* Note I am writing this post on a dark screen at 11 pm *
Don’t WhatsApp only call after 8pm
Whatsppp chats go on and on. You feel you are just yapping away without actually making any real connections. It is just a dopamine reserve which you feel like tapping into. I don’t reply after 8.30 am and if necessary will call up the person to end the call and make some real talk.
Keep the devices faraway from the bed
This is tough. I have all my todo list and notes app which I need the moment I get a new idea. I am using a pen and paper to take notes and list down task. But sometimes I need the phone.
Twitter is strictly off limits after 8:30 pm. Here are some handy hacks if you are prolific twitter consumer.
1. Twitter lists
One of the strategy to reduce my FOMO issue. I have distributed and categorised my twitter followers into twitter lists. This makes me efficient at gathering any information I may be mussing out.
2. Keep only people who talk less on follow others go to list categorised.
There are some people who talk a lot. They are just white noise which you don’t want to be part off. Please mute them or unfollow them.
3. Status updates drafts
If I feel the urge to put out a tweet, I write them on my paper notepad to post it the next day. Impuslive twitter use is curtailed and the idea is recorded.
Screens suck you in
These apps are made for only one thing. You maximise your attention. They are gamified to give you dopamine shots so you are hooked. Once you are aware of this important fact, you can work your way out. Instead of being used, you can use these platforms to enhance your real life by making worthwhile connection through information gathering.
Power of Habits
One cannot emphasise the importance of Habits.
A time for everything
One should have a time for everything one has set has priority. There is a right time for everything. Social media or screen time is not before bed.
A time for reading
I mostly read simple books on audio format and if the idea is complex I use my kindle to read. Some books cannot be followed on audio as you tend to multitask when listening. Complex writing needs your complete attention. I have set the time for reading at writing after 8:30 pm. I am using kindle to read. It is still a screen, but I feel the e-ink display is much much better than OLED/LCD display screens.
Do you have screen time issues? If yes, do try to regulate it. I strongly recommend.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash, 2019.