Each month I am looking at one of 5 positive disciplines mentioned by Michael Hyatt in this podcast to re-order our family lives so we can use the internet for good and avoid its destructive impact. The discipline for the month of August is Rest.
So how did it go this week? Did you get to bed earlier? Do you feel more rested?
Some nights were better than others for me, but I found that making a plan to go to bed earlier made me more intentional about hitting the hay at a decent time.
Here’s this week’s challenge:
Turn off any glowing screens after 7 PM.
The blue light from computers, TV’s, and phones tells our brains that it’s time to be awake. This interferes with our sleep and makes us feel less rested.
I understand that sometimes we may have husbands who want to watch a movie later in the evening. Don’t fight it. If your guy prefers to decompress this way, that is fine. But for yourself, try to put away the screens and choose a more soothing activity. Just try it for one week and see if you feel a difference.
I think this is extra-important for our kids.
Older children are losing huge amounts of sleep because they stay up late texting. They start checking their phones and texting before they are even out of bed in the morning. This is exhausting!
Our children have to turn in all devices (phones, iPods, kindle) around 7PM. We have a little lock box that we store them in if we think they will be tempted to retrieve them.
This might seem extreme, but consider removing TV’s from your children’s rooms. YES, it will probably cause a huge fit, but they will get over it. Make sure that you offer some kind of alternative—put on some soft music or an audiobook and let them read or draw for a little while before sleep. Try it for a few weeks and see if you notice a difference in how they sleep.
I used to always check Facebook and my feed reader last thing at night before bed. I have stopped doing this for the most part. It will all be there in the morning. I thought it would be a difficult habit to break, but as I have focused on changing the place these rituals have in my heart, it has actually been very easy. For this weary mama, remembering how nice it is to feel rested helps me make better choices too.
Lastly, if you don’t do anything else, stop watching or reading the news right before bed. The world is a negative, scary place. The media makes it about 100 times more negative and scary. They notify us (in sensational fashion) about every horrible thing that happens locally and around the world. This does not make for peaceful sleep. So stay informed, just not at bedtime.
Instead, read something peaceful. I love the Bible book of Psalms (which are songs/prayers to God) and the Gospels—the stories of Jesus.
How are you most tempted to use screen time in the evening? Will you try turning off your screens at night for just one week?