Let's face it, we live in an arms race for attention. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, we are encouraged to type, swipe, and get involved. Because we only have so much attention in our lives, everything has to fight harder to get it.
And the challenges are everywhere, not just with traditional media channels, but especially with channels that have emerged on the Internet.
- YouTube automatically plays more videos so we forget to leave.
- Instagram shows new likes one by one, so we keep checking in.
- Facebook shows what keeps us on screen, whether it's true or not.
- News media turns everything into instant, breaking news.
- Snapchat turns conversations into strips that you don't want to lose.
Where will we find this important time to relax and let go of our minds? In particular, how can we protect the sleeping hours so that we emerge from our sleep refreshed and spiritually alert?
Check out these simple changes to regain control: Set up your phone for mindfulness
- Allow notifications from people, not machines.
Most of the notifications come from machines, not actual people. They make our phones vibrate to lure us back into apps we don't really need to be in.
Visit Settings> Notifications and turn off all notifications except those from real people – apps like WhatsApp, FB Messenger or Messages.
- Put senseless decisions at a distance.
When we unlock our phones and see a box of colorful symbols begging to be typed, it puts a strain on our minds.
Instead, limit your first screen to the “tools” you use for on and off tasks – such as maps, camera, calendar, notes or Lyft. Move the rest of your apps into folders from the first page.
- Start other apps by typing.
Swipe down and enter the app you want to open instead of leaving bad habits on the home screen. Typing takes just enough effort to stop and ask, "Do I really want to do this?"
On Android, you can use the search box on your home screen.
iOS: Turn off Siri Suggestions (Settings> General> Spotlight Search> Turn off Siri Suggestions) for best results.
- Charge your device outside of the bedroom.
Get a separate alarm clock in your bedroom and charge your phone in another room (or across the room). This way, you can wake up without getting sucked into your phone before you even get out of bed.
- Know your bottomless bowls and slot machines
Know which apps are bottomless bowls (trap doors) and slot machines (constant review) for you. Move them from the first page of apps.
This brings me to the sleep weight link.
What is the sleep-weight relationship?
In recent years there has been increasing evidence that sleep plays a much more important role in our weight than originally thought.
Did you know that when you are trying to lose weight, the amount and quality of your sleep can actually be as important as your diet and exercise? This has been overlooked for years, but eventually people are realizing the importance of sleep. Unfortunately, despite all this knowledge, research suggests that our sleep has declined over the past few decades and many adults get less than 7 hours a night.
At the same time, we've seen an alarming rise in obesity, and the link is no accident.
Download your own copy of our eBook.The sleep report".
Also, take some time to focus your phone on mindfulness. As solid science-based evidence continues to emerge, there is no doubt about the negative effects of too long screen time, especially in the hour before bed.