Fitness columnist Emmet Rushe has top tip for switching off to get a good night's sleep.

This week I set a challenge for the members of my Rushe Fitness Gym and also the members of my online Lean in 2018 program.

The challenge was simple.

No screens after 9pm at night.

This meant no phones, iWatches, iPods, tablets, televisions, computers or laptops.

Like I said, simple.

But that didn’t mean that the challenge was going to be easy.

We have become dependent on our screens.

They have more control over us more than we do them, and they probably know more about us and our habits than our closest friends or even our partners.

But they are a bad habit and if you are looking at the challenge above and the thought of it makes you feel ill, you may have a real problem.

These devices have a ‘blue light’ which can make it harder for you to fall asleep. LED-based devices emit blue light, which can boost the cortisol levels in your body.

A study in the Scientific American found that;

The light from our devices is “short-wavelength-enriched,” meaning it has a higher concentration of blue light than natural light—and blue light affects levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin more than any other wavelength.

That’s exactly the opposite of what you want to have happen just before bedtime, right?

As you know, sleep has a tremendous impact on nearly every aspect of your life, whether it’s losing weight, improving your mood, or being more productive at work.

Most of us need at least 6 to 8 hours of quality sleep every night, but for a lot of us, getting that much can be a real struggle.

I set these type of challenges each week for the members, to keep them motivated, and I knew that this one was going to be one of the toughest.

But if something is affecting your sleep, it will impinge on your day to day life.
You may feel that everything is okay, but that just means you have become accustom to your lack of sleep and are probably running on 50%.

Things you can do to help if screens and lack of sleep are becoming a problem for you are;

Cutting out screens to allow the mind to shut down.

Read a book to help you to relax and to take your mind off of social media.

There are glasses you can get that will cut down on blue screen light during the day.
Most phones have this feature already in it, so activate this if you haven’t already.

Start an end of day diary,  to clear your mind and to get rid of anything in your head that may negatively affect your sleep.

Start a morning gratitude journal to remind yourself of everything good you have in your life, as this is a great way to de-stress 1st thing and is a better option than turning on your phone and getting bombarded with everyone else’s stressors.

Remove all stress that you can: This includes removing anyone who is a drain or negative on your life.
It doesn’t matter who they are.
If they are a drain in you and they make you feel bad or are always argumentative, stop being digital ‘friends’ with them. Simply press the block button and you are free from that virtual drama.

There will always be things you can’t avoid, but there are plenty you can do to make things better.

To recap;

  • Get a routine.
  • Have clean sleeping quarters.
  • Remove screens
  • Remove stimulants
  • Remove alcohol
  • Meditate
  • Journal.
  • Read books
  • remove fake friends
  • Block trolls
  • Increase positivity

In an age where we are being pushed more and more online, taking time away from it will become increasingly important.
Make sure that the virtual world is not having an effect on your health and your daily life.