Be honest with me for a second. Have you ever:
- Checked your phone one last time before your head hit the pillow.
- Watched Netflix until your eyes couldn't stay open.
- Used Instagram to "wake-up" in the morning.
- Woken up in the middle of the night and couldn't sleep and used Instagram to...fall back asleep...magically? (If only.)
- Worked on your computer or iPad from bed with the lights off.
- Hit snooze and then your fingers automatically went to your e-mail, Facebook, Instagram, or anything with a new notification...
Well, I have. And for better or for worse, I have a conscience (not to mention there is actual science) that tells me I shouldn't feel so great about my sleepy-time tech habits.
To further my guilt, I thought I'd do a bit of research on the subject and found that 75% of people fall asleep with their phones nearby. Apart from the obvious issues of sleep depravation (linked to other health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease), alertness during the day, and of course, FOMO, it's also worth considering how screens before bed and after sleep effect our attitude and relationships.
For example, these are the typical thoughts that run through my head when I scroll Instagram at night:
"Cool. Oh, pretty. Cool. Cool. LIKE. Scroll...wow I haven't checked Insta in 3 hours...keep scrolling...must...see...EVERYTHING...like...like...scroll...cool, I've already seen this photo. Scroll back to the top. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.......Refresh."
So I'm hunched over my bedside table, acting like this WHOLE TIME I've been setting my alarm, when my husband says, "What are you doing?" and I'm caught.
And then there's the issue of the morning time. I absolutely have used Instagram to "wake up" because whatever I missed while I was tossing around for 7ish hours can be delayed NO MORE!
I know I'm not the only one that does it and I know I'm not the only one that hates it. Imagine, waking up and actually feeling rested, going for a jog or making coffee, writing or reading a bit, and above all setting intentions for your day, regardless of what's going on with the rest of the world?
I want to know what would really happen if I break the addiction, begin and end my day without distraction and allow myself to be fully present: watch the rise and fall of my husband's breath as he lays next to me, chat about our days, our dreams, our sweet, sappy love, then wake up and feel my feet hit the floor, listen to the quiet, soak in the stillness.
It will look different to each of us, but regardless, I can't help but feel like our lives would all benefit from some time away from the screen. So here is what I am proposing:
The 30/30 Refresh Challenge
For the next 7 days we will take the following 3 steps:
1. Put away our phones, tablets, computers, and TV's for at least 30 minutes prior to sleep and at least 30 minutes after waking up.
2. Plug in our phones in a room that is not our bedroom -or, if we aren't antiquated enough to own a real alarm clock- keep our phones on "do not disturb" at night.
3. For those of us with the Instagram Itch: Refrain from scrolling back until we haven't missed a single photo. This kind of defeats the purpose. It's like dieting all week then eating the entire tub of Ben & Jerry's on Sunday night (totally never done that). I'd suggest 1-2 minutes and then we're done.
Who's with me? If you aren't one for leaving comments, feel free to let me know on Instagram...preferably mid-morning or late-afternoon :)
I'll be checking back in a week's time with my very scientific results and findings, but here's my initial hypothesis: time for a real-life refresh.