I’ve read quite a few articles on the topic of sleep lately. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that I’ve been struggling with this topic myself – – or not!
I have found one takeaway in particular from my reading that really hits home for me. The issue is that of artificial lighting at night (LAN), which was discussed in this article on ios9.com. Time and time again, I find myself wanting to check just “one more thing” on a website, or pop onto e-mail to send a “quick note” to someone that I’ve thought of and am worried that I’ll forget to do later. However, we all know that sometimes a quick minute turns into 30 minutes, or even hours on end once we’ve clicked on something that takes us through a chain of articles, e-mails, or other items we’ve thought to do. Before we know it, we’ve been staring at that LED screen for way longer than we should have been, way later than we should have been. What’s a sleep-deprived person to do?
Well, one suggestion is to impose a curfew on your electronics. This can seem tough at first, but many folks advise you to at least give it a try, for 10 days or more. Once you get into the habit of knowing that you’ll be turning off your devices at, say, 8 p.m., you get used to it. It’s just like any other habit, once you get into it. If you think you’ll be tempted, try something a little tougher, like turning off your wireless router. Then it’s not so easy to just open the computer and be instantly connected. It’ll at least slow you down and think about whether it’s worth it, right?
Right now my husband and I are exploring a challenge just like this, only we’ve taken it a bit farther than just in the evenings. We’re limiting ourselves to an hour of wifi in the morning, from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., and fifteen minutes in the evening, at 5 p.m. I’m hoping that by minimizing the time I spend on my devices in the evenings, not only will I allow my body’s natural circadian rhythms to take place without interruption, but I’ll also have the time to spend on other things, such as talking with family members or practicing my hobbies, like dance.
What change could you make this week to allow yourself more sleep?