Sleep Interrupted and Gaining Control Over Technology

By Kim Noble BSN, MBA, RN;
South Shore Hospital’s Youth Health Connection Program Coordinator

Admit it, we have all done it and for some it is a daily habit – gazing at your smartphone or tablet before bedtime. It doesn’t matter if you are using these devices for reading, checking social media, playing games or streaming TV shows or movies, the light from the device is impacting your sleep. You just may not fully realize why or how.

In a 2015 Business Insider video, Dr. Dan Siegel, Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute; reviews how this screen time impacts our brains at the cellular level and also our daily life in terms of our ability to focus, pay attention and problem solve. Smartphones and tablets are a part of our lives and both are amazing tools that can improve our ability to work, study, and connect with people globally. After watching this video maybe you will consider taking a brief technology sabbatical, one that works for your life; maybe a full 24 or 48 hours tech-free, or possibly just two nights of tech-free before going to sleep.

Also in a recent blog post on Digital Telepathy, Brad Soroka, wrote a post entitled “How to Kill Your Phone Addiction with Four Settings, 1 Hair Band and a Post-It Note.”

The content had a number of creative suggestions that might be helpful, such as: * Limit Apps to one screen, placed in folders, * No (or minimized) notifications, *Set phone to “Do Not Disturb,” except for favorites, * Using a Post-It Note, for your 3 important items,  and placing 1 hair band (or elastic) around your phone.

A few simple strategies that may just help you mindfully gain control over the distraction from your phone during the day. When you combine both strategies of day time phone control and evening sabbatical you just may find your brain re-engaging in a much more creative manner!