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Blog Feature

By: Brendan Duffy on March 29th, 2016

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Re-inventing the alarm: What is keeping me awake?

Sleep Medicine | Sleep Technologist Advice

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What is keeping me awake?

We are doing this backwards folks. 

We stay up watching TV, cruising through social media sites, playing all kinds of games on all kinds of devices.  We have smart phones, smart watches, smart tablets…. But maybe we are not so smart.

Once we finish playing and watching and responding to every ding from the phone next us, we are wide awake in bed in the pitch black night.  Well, pitch black except of course for the illuminated shadow of the ever present cell phone.  As messages continue to come in, our eyes are drawn to the little bit of light that illuminates the screen with each update or message.

Help! We’ve fallen into bed and we can’t sleep! Now what could possibly be keeping us awake?
Let’s rewind the scenario and see if this helps.
 
We are watching TV, cruising through social media sites, playing all kinds of games on all kinds of devices.  We have smart phones, smart watches; smart tablets….We hear the alarm at 8 PM!
 
What? An 8 PM alarm? Is this a typo?

Not at all! 8 PM....
 
It indicates that in one hour we will be going to bed.  This is the hour to prepare.  We turn off the TV.  We sign off our smart phones and devices and put them in DO NOT DISTURB mode.  We take a nice warm shower and relax with a book in our favorite chair.

We know we need to get up at 6 AM for work, so we set our room temperature at a cool 68 degrees.  We place our devices far away where the light and noise can’t find us.  We make sure our bedroom is uncluttered and get prepared to enjoy our sleep time from 9 PM until 6 AM – a total of 9 hours of possible sleep.  We drift off to sleep in 10 minutes or so.  And although we set an alarm for 6 AM we know we will most likely wake without that alarm because we are going to be well refreshed and rested. 
 
So you see, we are doing this backwards folks!  We need the PM alarm these days to remind us it is time to get serious about our sleep.  It is time to get smart and put all the so called smart gadgets in rest mode… so we can do the same.

Does this sound smart?

Sleep Well!
 
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