If our phones were able to talk and we sat them down in a room I am pretty sure this would be some of the things they would say:
‘My human is so needy, she never puts me down and is always asking me stupid questions. It baffles me that she can tie her own shoelaces without my help based on the fact she relies on me for everything else!’
‘One time my human thought he’d left me at the supermarket. He ran back in a panic going to all the aisles he’d visited and then to the customer help desk all flustered. It took him a few minutes to realise I was tucked away in his inside jacket pocket. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself at how dramatic he gets when I am out of his sight. After our ‘separation’ he calmed himself down by aimlessly scrolling through Facebook for half an hour just to double check he hadn’t missed anything in the five minutes he couldn’t find me’
‘Well not only does mine have me at her beck and call but she also has just got another phone! She has two of us now! Two!! I just feel so cheated. She only got the other one because it has more memory for apps, but she won’t even use half of them anyway.’
‘Well my human never gives me a moments peace, and blames me when we get lost because he cant read google maps and the ‘blue dot’ properly. He also has a habit of pulling me out at inappropriate places, like last week when he was out with a couple of mates at a bar and everyone was having a good chat and he kept me in his hand and was looking at me every two minutes and writing text messages to other people. His friends were looking at me like it was my fault!
I think if we were to ask them how their humans use them in the bedroom at night before they go to sleep I’m pretty sure they would all reply in similar ways by using some of the following answers:
‘Whilst using me to watch a clip on Youtube, and then finding eight others in the sidebar she just kept clicking on to the next one, then the next one, then the next one, and ended up falling asleep with the video still playing’
‘He just keeps scrolling through Instagram for an hour past when he said he was aiming to go to sleep’
‘One time she woke up and I was still just there lying on the side of her face, and the TV was still on in the background’
‘He wakes up grumpy and tired, and lets everyone know this by picking me up while his eyes are still half closed and updates his facebook status about his misery of a bad nights sleep before he’s even got out of bed.’
Do any of these situations sound familiar to your own sleeping habits?
My blog post today is basically a public service announcement on behalf of all mobile phones to say: Your phone called, it wants a trial separation…and its keeping custody of the apps!
Right, just to clarifiy, this isn’t meaning a complete separation from your phone. Based on our jobs and lifestyles they are now so heavily intertwined and relied up in our daily lives, our work lives etc that for many of us being cut off completely from our mobile could cause us quite a lot of issues.
However, we are now to the point where we are so overconnected and stimulated by these devices that we have now got ourselves into a bit of a vicious cycle where we are always ‘switched on’ all the times. We allow ourselves to be constantly bombarded by the outside world, the news, articles, whatsapp, facebook, instagram, and countless other apps that connect us at all times and hours of the day. We appear to have forgotten how to just be comfortable in switching off. Why is that? Are we so scared of our own thoughts that we don’t want to be left alone with them anymore?
I specifically think that one area of the day we need to work on shutting out the world, its words and its noise, is as we are winding down and getting into bed. Countless scientists and studies have proven that the white screen lights from our phones, tablets and TVs messes with our sleep and REM cycles, resulting in us having disturbed sleep patterns, not getting the adequate number of hours of sleep, accruing sleep debt, waking up not properly rested and continually tired and drained of energy before the day has even begun. The knock on effect of this impacts hugely on our productivity throughout the day, and the heavy reliance on coffee that some people need in order to pull them through their work days is a testament to this.
Minus an addiction to coffee, the above used to sum up my daily bedtime routine. Every night my phone was the last thing I’d put down before I went to sleep. Quite often I’d fall asleep using it and wake up with it in my bed next to me. Ahh, how romantic.
At the beginning of the year I started turning my phone off before I went to sleep. Completely off. I felt disconnected, but in a good way. It was so liberating! I felt free! It was just me in the world, in my bed with no outside distractions coming into my room. Instead I picked up a book (something light and not too stimulating) and would read with a small light on and I noticed I was much calmer as I felt body and my brain winding down for the day. I was setting myself up properly for my nights sleep ahead of me, and giving myself the best chance to re-charge my energy levels properly for the following day.
My advice to you?
If you have trouble getting a good night sleep then turn your phone off. It’s recommended that you do this at least half an hour before you usually fall asleep. Try to disconnect. Be tough on yourself. You owe your body the best night sleep you can give it if you’re running it ragged throughout the day.
Dont give me that crap excuse of ‘but my alarm clock is on my phone…’
Erm, okay…you know we have these things in shops called alarm clocks, crazy things that come in all shapes and sizes that have been solely invented to alarm you in the morning. They cost a few quid, go buy one of those.
But if you absolutely must leave your phone on for whatever reasons you have, then put it in the hallway. Leave all electronic equipment at the bedroom door or switched off. Just so its you and yourself in your room. Get used to being comfortable with just yourself, your own company and your own thoughts. You might just surprise yourself.
When I told my friend the subject of my post today saying that it was about turning your phone off at night his immediate reaction was ‘naaah, I couldn’t do that!’ When I asked him why he said ‘well, its just habit I guess….`
Exactly. It’s habit! We have got into the habit of using our phones at all points in the day and night. It is a learnt behaviour. So we can surely unlearn it. To change that habit you just have to have the real desire to do it and stick with it.
Also, give your phones a break too, the damn things deserve it!
Thanks for reading,