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When it comes to technology and sleep we may be completely counterproductive. Sleeping is a natural and basic need, something completely void of technology or trending innovations. However, with the tech world taking over our everyday lives it is now moving into a larger part of this non-tech based daily activity.
How beneficial, or more importantly, how HARMFUL is it? I am taking a closer look at how and why technology is slowly seeping into every moment of our days. Specifically the moments we aren’t even awake for. And the blatant hypocrisy of linking technology and sleep. Not only that, but I am taking this as an opportunity to release technology from my sleep routine too.
Being an avid blogger and online resource for sleep I constantly see first hand how many people struggle in this basic area. Most people are searching for the answer to better sleep. Whether it be a new mattress. The latest trending sleep products, like weighted blankets or Celliant sheets. Or, the biggest contradiction of all, sleep apps.
But what if the answer is far more simple than adding more technology to our lives. What if it is taking technology OUT of our lives?
Now to get a better idea of just how much technology plays apart of our lives lets take a closer look at the reality of an average day for most of us.
We wake up, usually from an alarm set on our phone right next to our bed. Not only do we turn our alarm off, but we scroll through it for our morning “fix” of more than likely useless information. Instagram photos, Facebook updates, etc. We may even check our email and get a head start on our work lives.
We finally get up get ready for the day, showering and making breakfast, getting the kids ready for school. Sometimes asking Alexa for the up to date weather, or scrolling through our favored news source.
Or just having the tv on with cartoons or the local news. Whatever it may be we are only about an hour into our day and its already overwhelmingly surrounded by technology.
Now, we get in the car and make sure our Bluetooth is connected. Just in case we have a call with a client. Or maybe we want to listen to the latest episode of our favorite podcast. Either way, are drive to wherever we are off to is probably not in silence.
Remember the good old days of local radio shows with a lively mix of music and hosts trying to connect to their audience. Yah, I barely remember them either.
Now the humdinger of them all… work itself. The centrifuge of 8 hours of staring at a screen, at least for 90% of us. Get ready because your brain is on overload and even though you are sitting down, your mentally being drained, which takes a toll on your entire body and well being.
Not only are we sitting at a desk behind a glaring screen moving a million miles a minute. We are working around meetings, some face to face but now more than ever via screen too. And lets be honest, eight hours is the bare minimum.
Aaah, finally the evening, our reprieve from technology… oh wait, no. We get home and take a few minutes of no technology to unwind. But this is brief and more than likely sometimes filled with checking out Instagram or Facebook yet again.
We turn on the tv and more than likely stare at it for roughly three hours. All while simultaneously checking in on your laptop, tablet or phone multiple times.
My brain is fried just writing this and realizing how much time I spend with technology on the daily.
Now comes time for sleep. The time for your body and mind to rest so you can do it all again tomorrow. But how do you come down from this constant influx of blue-light filled data? And more importantly, how do you cut it off for 8 hours?
Most of us don’t. I am guilty of not only of looking at my phone right up until I sleep, but also if I wake up in the middle of the night. More times than not staying up shopping on Amazon or Overstock for an hour. Or reading an article about sleep. Ironic – don’t you think? (I hope you sang that!)
So when is enough, enough? When do we see that technology and sleep don’t go hand in hand? And are we willing to give it up?
“Don’t worry. Now there’s an app for that. We have used the latest technology to improve your sleep.”
A.K.A… what tech companies are really saying – lets throw another log onto this already ragging fire. Because you know who it hurts, not us, we’re making money.
LISTEN UP – the truth is you DON’T need more technology – you need LESS. For better sleep you need fresh air, exercise, a healthy diet and a REAL life. You aren’t a robot, so stop acting like it.
When you try to solve a problem with a different version of the problem you aren’t solving anything at all. You may be combating it all together.
I don’t even know what this semi-outdated phrase even references exactly, but you know what, I can just “Google it.” However, I do understand what it is implying. I usually write more informative blogs about sleep products, mattress reviews and ways to even use some of these technology driven sleep aides to get better rest.
But, today I felt like going off on my little diatribe. I personally feel overwhelmed with technology. And for me the scariest part of it isn’t for myself, but for my children.
With the whirlwind of technology in their faces from birth will they ever understand “simple”. Will they appreciate the real beauty of the world or just see it from a screen? Will they be so overwhelmed with a buzzing influx of screen time that they won’t get proper rest and sleep?
I know I am not alone. I also know that the hardest part is leading by example. Personally, I am awful at putting my phone down. I even told my daughter to tell me to put my phone down when I am spending time with her. How ridiculous is that? I have to have my two year old remind me that she is more important than checking my email or scrolling through Instagram. It makes me feel like an asshole.
That is why today I am making a vow and allowing YOU to hold me accountable.
I almost titled this section “time to disconnect” but the truth is, it is time to reconnect. It is time to reconnect to what is important. Time to really connect with what is going on around us.
I think that by embracing less technology will have a profound effect on most of us. And truly believe that it will improve your sleep. The reality is, you can’t disconnect from work. You can’t expect to evaporate technology all together. But, there are places it shouldn’t be. And in the bedroom during sleep is one of them.
I challenge not only you, but myself as well to leave your phone out of the bedroom. We have all heard a tv in the bedroom is horrible for countless reasons. So why is a phone any different? Get a real alarm clock. Get comfortable with releasing yourself from the grasp constant connection with a disconnected world. Focus on what is important. You and your loved ones.
And here is my vow of letting technology in the bedroom die. Today, February 14th 2019 I will no longer allow my phone to be brought into my bedroom from the hours of 10PM to 7AM. Not just turning it off or on silent, but not in the same room at all. My hope that is in a few weeks or month to update this post with a victory lap.
I want to lead by example, so when people ask me about how technology and sleep don’t go hand in hand that I can say from experience that it is truly better to leave the two separate.
If you have challenged yourself to ban technology from sleep. Or are curious of my progress, please send me an email! I would love to hear from you!
Taking technology out of the your sleep equation and making it more simple may feel challenging. Though I am no doctor, I would guess that this easy and simple no cost solution may help more of us than we realize. Sleeping is a natural part of our lives, so why do we have to complicate it?
In a world that is moving faster by the day, it is time to take a step back in the area it should never be to begin with. Technology and sleep are something that shouldn’t overlap. So let’s leave it outside the bedroom door. Literally. Instead lets make our bedroom our haven, are hideaway where we can rest and rejuvenate.
*Needs some tips on falling asleep sans technology? Read our Guide to Falling Asleep Fast. Warning: There are a few tips that are involve technology, but most are not. Or Our Sleep Guide if you need advice on improving the mood of your bedroom.
Thanks for letting me be apart of your day & Happy Technology Free Sleeping!