The 7 day detox – Smart Nights Challenge.

In September, I wrote a post on changing a habit that was taking up a lot of my precious time and energy–usage of the smartphone for nothing but passing time. It was taking a toll on my eye-health apart from wasting my time, which was leaving me irritated with myself.

I did a follow-up post after a month where I wrote about how I had worked on changing the habit and succeeded to quite an extent and benefitted from the experience. Of course, my love affair with the smartphone hasn’t completely ended, which is the reason I am participating in this Challenge.

The 7 day detox — Smart Nights Challenge!

Thankfully, because of my earlier post, I could make some changes due to which my affair with the gadget isn’t a “torrid” one, anymore. I don’t need it by my side all day or night. I usually switch off the Wi-Fi of my phone by 9/9:30 pm and switch it on only in the morning, by 9 am, after completing some of my morning chores, my Yoga and breakfast.

Also, I never take the phone to bed with me, the reason being it is dangerous placing your phone on the bed, or under your pillow as you sleep.

I keep the phone’s volume to its lowest, and place it on a stool by my bedside in case mom or someone from the family called up at night. And, thanks to Cookie, I don’t need an alarm to wake me up, so the phone, too, goes off to sleep!

I usually carry the newspaper to bed, to solve puzzles before I sleep. Actually, it is solving the puzzle that puts me to sleep. Either that, or a book.

Reading induces sleep faster than staring at your phone/computer screens, you know?

The blue light that our phones emit keeps our brain awake and alert. And, to fall asleep at night, you need something that will calm the brain, not keep it on high alert! Not just the light, but the action on our screen awakens our brain. What do you think will happen to our sleep in such a scenario?

During the day, I take frequent breaks from the phone by switching off the Wi-Fi every couple of hours. For example, while writing, reading, helping my nephew with his studies and in the evening, when I step outside for a walk.

I often see walkers peeping into their phones even during their walk. They hardly pay any attention to the world around or to their breathing! What’s the point of the walk if you can’t leave the virtual world aside for sometime and enjoy nature?

So, these frequent breaks from the phone do me a world of good. The constant pings of the numerous notifications, the constant need to check what’s going on out there, the staring at the images as I scroll aimlessly–the absence of it all gives me immense peace.

There are times, though, especially when hubby is to return home late and I have no book to read or movie to watch and still have to stay awake till he arrives, when I do scroll through the Facebook News feed, or Instagram. But, because it strains my eyes and bores me after a point, I put it away soon.

Now that I have taken up this 7 day challenge, I will get an opportunity, and some motivation, to work harder at keeping the phone away. I know I need to do this– for my eyes and for my peace of mind.

As part of the challenge, I will continue doing what I have been doing these past couple of months and some more, and then do another follow-up post next year on how helpful the detox has been for me. Why don’t you join me, too, dear readers?

If I haven’t been able to convince you to make some changes in your phone habits by all that I shared above, let me highlight the reasons why you need to give yourself a break from your phones at night.

5 reasons why you need to put the phone away at night

1. Our brain is used to sleeping at night. It needs some rest, too, you know? But the blue light that the our gadgets emit can awaken the brain.

2..Falling asleep after scrolling through can get difficult because not only did the light awaken the brain, but the moving scenery in front of your eyes leaves the brain asking for more such excitement. Have you noticed how you get pulled into the whirlpool once you begin mindlessly scrolling through your newsfeed? How the time flies and before you know it, you have been staring at your phone screen for an hour!

3. Due to the above reasons, the brain finds it almost impossible to calm down and fall asleep and you tend to stay awake longer even as the world around dozes peacefully.

4. This sleep deprivation leads to a dull and dazed you who wakes up with a heavy head and an irritable mood.

5. The strain on the eyes caused by all the staring at the blue screen in the darkness shows its effects in the form of dry eyes, blurred vision and a pain around the eyes. To learn how staring at the screen constantly leads to pain, move your eyes in a circular motion and you will know.

Our wellbeing is our responsibility. If we don’t understand how our habits affect our health, who will? If we don’t take precautions now, we will be the ones to suffer from the ill-effects at a latter stage, when rectifying the issue might not be possible.

Let’s make a pact to take control of our lives, make changes in our lifestyles and lead healthier lives.

If you aren’t participating in this challenge, I urge you to do so. We could give each other company, dear reader, and boost each other’s morale if we find ourselves slipping off the track! What say?

Do join me along with my friend, Ashvini Naik, as we try and overcome this constant dependence on the phones and reclaim our peace of mind and our life!

Love,

SHILPA…

P.S.

To participate in the challenge, all you need to do is write a post on how you plan on breaking free of this habit of taking your phone to bed with you, attach this cool badge and share your post on the Linky till the 7th of November. Share your post widely on social media and let’s spread the word!

SHILPA…

Sleeping with your phone by your side is harmful to health.
Why you need to put your phone away at night

20 Replies to “The 7 day detox – Smart Nights Challenge.”

  1. I have also been fighting this obsession. I got a dumb phone now which is my main phone. I keep it beside me for all the important calls. On my smartphone, I have a number known only to family which is all for my social media activities. Now, since i dont need it to check for anything, it lies around the house till I remember to pick it up. Its been working so well, that my overall social media spending time has drastically reduced. So, all the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! I like that, Lata!
      Dumb phone–the best thing we invented, isn’t it? I liked your idea of keeping two phones and giving more importance to the phone that is much more useful and far less harmful than the smartphone!

      Like

  2. Your steps to do away with the phone at unnecessary times are so great, Shilpa.

    And I hope this challenge gets many more people to curb their phone addiction during bed time & thus take a call over their health.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Even the Wi-Fi that keeps emitting strong electro-waves mess with our brains and causes sleep disturbances. While smartphones have never been particularly – ‘Health safe’, those giant telecom towers and in-house Wi-Fi systems are equal culprits.

    But yet we keep them switched on because early morning most of us are too bloody lazy to drag our asses off the bed and switch on the Wi-Fi or get the phone from the next room. Yet, the intrinsic fear of professional bamboos, make it imperative that we check our Emails the moment we wake up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree..I have heard a lot about those telecom towers. And, as far as it all goes, the towers, the smart gadgets we use…it’s all our mistake and now we are paying for it…All of these have made us their slaves and we are finding it increasingly difficult getting rid of this obsession to stay tuned into the world, stay connected with the world..We have so lost connection with ourselves! Sad, indeed! And, that is why this change.Now, I am replying to your comment at this hour…so, ironical, isn’t it? It is a rare occasion, though, that I am at my laptop tonight! ๐Ÿ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very useful pointers, Shilpa! I have been following this rule of switching off from social media every now and then especially The challenges, the competitions, the endless posts and the commenting systemโ€”have all made me run around pointlessly. Now, that I don’t do any of that and it has had such a positive impact in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a sensible effort, Shilpa. I always switch off WiFi and data on my phone before going to bed. I do read a book before sleeping but I use the kindle app on my phone to read, so I look into the screen before closing my eyes. But as a precaution I have turned the blue light off after 7 in the night and it turns back on at 7 in the morning. Also I have opted to turn the โ€œDo not disturbโ€ option on from 10 to 6. But I know I have to reduce my phone dependency further down which is possible only if I shift to an old Nokia kind. My sister and husband calls in WhatsApp as the signal have a tendency to play hide and seek, so thatโ€™s another challenge. And having no landline gives the smartphone complete power. How have we changed our lives in the name of technology, right!
    Looking forward to read your experience after detox. All the best, dear! ๐Ÿ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, VIni, sometimes, I wish we could all go back to the landline. It served its purpose and didn’t drive us crazy with any apps and stuff.

      I have changed my phone use to quite an extent. These days, I keep the wifi off most of the time–I check it after every two hours, for about 15-20 minutes, and switch it off again. This way, my eyes don’t have to bear the brunt of staring at a screen fixedly.

      Like

  6. My phone is always on DND from 9 pm and I leave it on the night stand as it does have my alarm. I am guilty however of looking at it before I read and go to bed. During my work days, I don’t look at the phone too much especially if I’m busy. However, weekend use is quite high. Apple now monitor screen time usage and that’s quite scary but also helps me be mindful of my use.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me, too, weekends are much more relaxed as far as my detox rule goes. Sometimes, though, my conscience does taunt me about it and I put my phone away. But, since the past few weeks now, I have changed the way I use my phone. I have pushed it from number 1 to number 5 on my priority list. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Like

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