Electronic Upgrade (Multi Dip)
Hunter Habit – For Urban Addicts, A Moment Of Release
Upgrade Class – Multi Dip (up to 7 times)
Your Electronic Commitment
For this Electronic Upgrade you’re going to become tech free for one hour before bed, once a week. No television, mobile phones, computer screens, smart watches, VR-head sets, mechanical acoustics (headphones or speakers), tablets or kindles. For future generations, holograms also fall under this umbrella of electronica.
And don’t go thinking you can whip the phone out once you hit the bed. None of that either. No electronics for 60 minutes before bed, and no electronics once in bed. You’re cold turkey until its up time again.
Electronics are wonderful. I wouldn’t want to live without them. But there is a price you pay for technology that ripples outwards in ways that are bad for your health. Posture, sleep, mood, eyesight, hearing, critical thinking and reaction speeds are all negatively affected by prolonged proximity to these machines. By reducing our use of these devices before bed, specifically, you do two important things. You maximize the impact to your health, and you minimize the impact to your social life and work.
The Price You Pay
Screen time in particular is the biggest bugbear on the list of electronic bedtime poisons. That’s phones, computers, tablets and televisions along with the electronic display on the clock beside your bed. But as you’ll see, the impact is layered.
The light from screens is short wavelength, which resets your body’s internal clock and delays the release of melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical necessary for sleep, and postponing it’s release initiates a cascade of negative health effects. It limits your deep sleep (REM) and leaves you sleep deprived, even with a full 8 hours of shuteye.
Another advantage of ‘unplugging’ before bed is that it prevents our brains from impulse obsessing. Our brains are primitive, and they tend to tunnel-vision to issues that elicit an emotional response. Email, news, social media, texts, instant messages, voicemail, calendar invites, comments, notifications etc. all become components of our emotional state. Even while you sleep. And your emotional state is your chemical state. It takes time to chemically distance yourself from the emotions and the state of alertness that comes with being a part of ongoing projects, discussions and information feeds.
There is a problem with efficiency that rears its head towards bedtime. To be in a constant routine of engagement and contribution is to deny your body and brain the ability to be fully rested. Allow yourself a routine of disconnection from efficiency, engagement and contribution. This will offer rapid results to the quality of your sleep as well as the way you experience the day that follows it.
Bad sleep means low energy and slow reactions, which in turn a minimizes each day’s pleasure, and your presence in it. When you are tired everything is more difficult and mistakes happen more frequently. Emotions are harder to control. Plans are harder to make. Daunting tasks more difficult to endure. And then, of course, there’s the physical toll on your health, increasing your risk of complications.
Giving up electronics for an hour before bed has proven, measurable effects on
- reducing sleep latency
- increasing sleep duration
- improving the quality of sleep
- reducing pre-sleep arousal
- improving mood and memory
- reducing risk of developing some forms of cancer
If you’re used to electronica, which most of us are, then build yourself a routine to fill that low tech hour that comes with the Electronic Upgrade. Books, magazines, baths, sudoku, crosswords, non-electronic conversations, meditation, writing with a pen, cooking, solitaire with actual cards, laundry, etc.. Fill that time with something you love or something worth doing – the old fashioned way.
The payback is huge.
When you wake up tomorrow with all that extra energy don’t forget that you can join me for live With-Me Workouts remotely!