Recently I realized one night as I was reading my 900-page book before bed that I was finally sleeping better.
For years I have had a battle with sleep. And lack of sleep and tiredness was winning.
I usually fall asleep without an issue, but I wake up a lot (sometimes more than 10 times a night).
I went to my doctor in November to discuss my sleep issues. Everything I was already doing (like going to bed every night around the same time and waking up about the same time in the mornings) was what I should be doing.
But my doctor had one thing to add: Reduce screen time before bed.
Screen time=iPhones, smart phones, iPads, tablets, computer, Kindle, TV, etc.
My norm at the time and for years had been to fall asleep to the TV. From many years ago when I lived alone falling asleep to the TV was a comfort. And it was a bad habit I had continued until November.
My doctor suggested I reduce my screen time one to two hours before bed. Two hours is extreme for me. So I’ve been doing at least an hour.
My doctor told me it could take up to three months to take effect.
I started it mid-November. About a month later I lost a student in my cycling class and my sleep was pretty messed up. I was emotionally exhausted and sleeping whenever I could get it in. I fell asleep almost every night with the TV on.
But early January I started up the healthy habits once again. And a couple of weeks ago as I was reading my ginormous book I realized my sleep had been better lately.
I see a lot of friends complaining about insomnia, sleep issues, being tired, etc. on Facebook regularly.
Friends, seriously, reduce your screen time. Don’t post on Facebook at 2 a.m. that you are having trouble sleeping. That blue light is altering your melatonin and hurting your sleep.
For me it took three months.
But since I started my healthier habits and I have shared that information with others. Some have tried reducing their screen time as well and they were sleeping better within a week or even a few days.
Friends, please, please try it. If nothing else, you are living healthier habits. AND, maybe you will finally get to read those books you don’t have time for. I’ve been book “shopping” on my bookshelf.
And when you wake up, please don’t get on the computer, phone, tablet. Maybe do a little yoga or pranayama (breath work) or meditate. Or even pick up that “big, boring book.”
My sleep isn’t perfect. But it’s so much better.
I’ve woken up many times with a book on my face. But that’s so much better than falling asleep with the TV on.