On “wind-down” time

I don’t think I have exceptionally strong opinions about wind-down time, but as I sit here writing this blog post in bed at around 11:00pm, pretty close to my bedtime, it got me thinking about a couple of things.

The first is that I seem to have a tendency to want to write at night-time, and to want to engage in creative projects at a purely unreasonable time. This is despite the fact that I am a morning person and will die a morning person, and despite all efforts I make to “do stuff” in the morning. The truth is that the morning, for me, is for other things. Not for working on creative projects. It is a time I want to enjoy, a time I want to spend exercising, a time I want to spend clearing my head, and not using it. So I find myself here.

People seem to discourage using technology close to bedtime and all that shit, and to properly “disconnect”, but frankly, I don’t want to do that. It’s up to people what they do with their time before bed and I don’t judge them for what they do. Having a wind-down or before bedtime routine does take time and effort to make a habit, and I completely understand that it works for some people to get them ready for bed, but it’s something I don’t take a lot of interest in.

I’m lucky in the sense that I have no trouble falling asleep, and have never experienced insomnia. I tuck myself into bed and I fall asleep in two minutes. This happens regardless of what I do in the 30 minutes before bedtime or what has happened during the day or whether I’m a little bit tired or very tired. My personal physiological disposition is to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. I think that brushing my teeth is sufficient as a habit to prepare myself for bed.

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I don’t necessarily agree with putting my phone in another room or disconnecting completely from technology. I have a nice blue analog alarm clock next to my bed, one that I bought on my first trip to Japan back in 2013, and although I used to use the traditional alarm to wake myself up, life is different with a partner and sometimes you have to compromise based on each other’s schedules and needs. I think a phone works fine as an alarm clock. What is the problem we’re trying to solve here? Can’t stop using your phone or technology? Using it for hours before bedtime? Distracted by it being next to you?

Personally, I think I manage my screen time pretty well, given that I work on the internet and my 9–5 involves a computer, I almost feel the need to look at a screen less during the evening. There are days when I do nothing but browse the internet, but I still make an effort to take regular breaks. I also want to point out that for many people, if not everyone, digital devices are a useful tool.

While many of us rely on technology in our daily lives, I think it’s ludicrous to make comments like our phone being an extension of our arm. Come on. If our phone ran out of battery while we were on the way home, we’d either suck it up and continue on our way home (or if we weren’t on our way home we would find a way to recharge—Apple Store, go back to the office to find a power socket, etc.). We all know we can live without our phones because we have done it before. At the theatre. During an interview. When we’re busy entertaining children. Most of the time when driving, really.

I think digital devices even help some people empty their minds before they go to sleep, dropping some thoughts into the Notes app, or writing little todos because something important popped into mind while they were tucking themselves in bed. Can’t do that when your phone is in another room, can you?

I’m blogging every day in January 2023. Let me know if you’ll be joining in and trying to blog every day. 😊 The hashtag you can use on social media is #blogeverydamnday.

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Thank you! There are so many people out there who talk about “smartphone addiction” as though using your phone as an alarm clock will destroy society as we know it. Technology is something that plenty of people use to improve their lives. There are some who abuse it and end up paying for it, but I think most people are like you in that they can moderate it very well on their own.

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