Technology is amazing and terrifying at the same time. We have made unfounded progress over the last 30 years not only in hardware, but software too. And that’s all great but how is it also now weird if you don’t have a Facebook account?
The problem is that we are so switched on and exposed to so much information all the time, that our brains are just not able to cope.
Thanks to telephone, internet and mobile, we now receive five times as much information every day as we did in 1986! You actually read about 6 newspapers worth of information a day.
So there you go. The good news about being online is that we are more connected than ever….the bad news….well…we are more connected than ever. It’s sad really how removed we are from reality…. How many selfies have you taken recently, how many snapchat stories, how many hashtags…Have you ever looked around a restaurant and noted that literally everyone is staring at the phone? I mean have you ever heard of talking and enjoying the company…. It’s part of our generation but it’s also something to be wary of.
While it’s not possible to switch off completely, there’s a few things you can do to make a start. For one, the last thing you need this 24-hour connection to affect is your time outside of work and health. Below are some simple tips you can use on your smart phone.
A new feature on the updated iOS allows you to answer some questions and get a recurring wake-up alarm and a reminder when it’s bed time. Why it’s good? It gets you into a habit of a routine bedtime which is exactly what your body loves!
How to get it: go into your alarms and you’ll see it at the bottom of your screen. The rest is self-explanatory
Do Not Disturb.
How annoying is it to receive and open an email just as you get into bed? Well there is a way to avoid it! The ‘do not disturb’ option allows you to block all calls/messages manually etc but there is also an option to schedule it to set at certain times…for example when you get home from work maybe? or at bedtime? And if you’re worried to miss a potential emergency call from a family member (parents, children etc), you can set it so that calls from your ‘favourites’ are always allowed.
How to get it: Go into settings and scroll down to the ‘do not disturb’. Click into it and select ‘schedule’
The other side of constantly staying ‘switched on’ is staring at blue light late at night. This sends a mixed message to the brain and results in a bad nights sleep. How? Well you have blue light and red light. Back in the good old days (when we hunted and gathered) blue light would wake us up (think sunrise) and red light would help us wind down with the evening and get sleepy (think camp fire). Same concept still applies and regulates our 24 hour cycle, or more formally the circadian rhythm. Blue light syncs with cortisol, our stress hormone, which rises and should reach it’s peak naturally in the morning to wake you up before gently easing off and making room for melatonin to come in and naturally get you sleepy as the night sets in.
Problem: We constantly expose ourselves to blue light, especially in the evening – TV, computer, phone, iPad.
How to get Night Shift: this setting allows you to set a specific time on your iPhone for the backlight to naturally dim. Go into settings, display/brightness and you will see night shift!
Bonus! “Stop Playing”
I love to unwind in bed to some music but always had to cut this time short so I didn’t fall asleep and leave the playlist/podcast running all night. Well there is a cool little trick in the ‘alarm’ setting whereby you can set a timer to ‘stop playing’ once it runs out.
How to get it: Go into alarms > timer > and instead of an alarm, set it to ‘stop playing’