How to spend the one hour before going to bed without a screen.
>> 16 ways for having one “screen-free” hour in the evening <<
Have you tried this? Turning off your electronics one hour before going to bed?
In one of my last articles I wrote about how good turning off your electronics one hour before bed actually is. I still believe in the benefits of this and I’m currently doing this myself.
It’s one of the best things you can do in this fast paced world to get better sleep and have an awesome next day.
Many people say that not only do they sleep better, but their attention span and their focus have increased.
This article is all about what to do in this one hour. Since we are so focused on technology and basically all things we do include some form of gadget, it can be quite hard to come up with task that doesn’t include an electronic device (with a screen).
Usually you should spend this one hour with some relaxing activity, but that doesn’t mean it has to be unproductive.
You could take a notebook and write down ideas for your business or for your personal live.
Getting away from technology for one hour (or longer) will probably increase your creativity as well.
(Isn’t it fascinating and also a bit scary that we need to think about what to do without technology, although it has only been a around for a few decades?)
To get you started here are some ideas on what to do in this one hour.
16 screen free things to do before going to bed
- Read a physical book.
Today, everything is electronic, even our books. I don’t have anything against ebook readers, since I own one myself. The problem is, especially with the backlit ones, they disrupt your sleep. If you must read on a ebook reader, choose one without backlight or turn it off. Besides that, many people report that they got a ton of reading done, just from this one hour of reading every night!
- Talk with friends or your partner.
Talking to friends is essential, since it gives us some social structure. Good friends are always there for you and you can tell them everything. Getting something off your chest before going to bed, can be beneficial for your sleep as well.
- Take a walk.
Taking a walk is a great thing to do. It gives your some “exercise”, which is especially good if you have been sitting all day. You will also be in some fresh air for the day. Depending on your bedtime, taking a walk might be not an option if you go to bed very late (but on the other hand, why not?). If you live in a noisy city, check if there are any quiet routes you can take.
Meditation is also great. I’m not doing it regularly, so there are other people that can tell you more about it, but everything I read about it is very positive.
- Listen to relaxing music.
Who doesn’t like listening to music? When was the last time you just listened to music, without doing anything else? Probably it has been a long time ago! Why wouldn’t you do that tonight? Take some relaxing music, sit on your couch and just listen to the tunes. Isn’t it great to just listen, not doing anything else and “being productive”?
- Do some chores, i.e. cleaning the dishes after dinner.
This is a tricky one and not for everyone! I usually advise against doing chores, since most people get into a “chore flow” and go way past their usual bedtime, doing chores they think have to be done! If you are sure you can stick to your bedtime, do some chores, like cleaning the dishes after dinner or folding laundry.
- Do some yoga or stretching, no hard exercise!
I’ve recently started an exercise/stretching routine called the “Agile 8”. It’s good for hip mobility and for correcting lordosis. It’s not very demanding and I don’t get as hyped as I would get from my normal exercise. It’s a good way to calm down and at the same time I can do something for my body. You can find the routine here. If you have something similar, or if you are doing yoga, you might try that.
- Take a bath.
Taking a bath is the same as listening to music. Many people love taking a bath but they never do it. Many people I know have a huge bathtub, but when I ask them “When was the last time you took a bath?”, they usually answer something like “a few years ago”. If you have a bathtub, get some nice bath additive (*bubbles*) and take a nice long bath. (Environmentalists will probably hate me for that advice, so don’t do it every single day.)
- Take a shower.
Taking a shower before bed is a good option for better sleep, but it’s not working for everyone. Research shows that it can have good effects, especially if the temperature in your bedroom is low. The warm shower will dilute your blood vessels and let the blood flow more easily. The temperature drop from the warm into your cooler bedroom will induce sleepiness.
- Call a friend (only do this if you have a normal telephone or can stay away from your cellphone afterwards).
If you can’t meet your friends in person call them, but only if you have a normal telephone or you will stay away from your cellphone afterwards. Tell them at the beginning of the call that you want to be in bed by (*your bedtime*) and tell them to please help you achieve this. Good friends will understand.
- Write in a journal.
Journaling is a great thing to do. I’ve been doing it for over one and a half year now and it really helps me to get the thoughts out of my head before going to bed. Since you should turn off your electronics, journaling on the computer is kinda off limits, but a physical journal is a better experience for most people anyway.
- Do breathing exercises.
Breathing exercises usually only take a few minutes, but if they’re done consistently they can have a positive impact on your health. They might be a great addition to another activity you do within this one hour.
- Do nothing.
When was the last time you did nothing? It’s really hard to do nothing, especially today when everybody wants to do more of everything at the same time. Don’t get into this hassle. Try to pause, relax and do nothing.
- Prepare food for the next day.
Prepare food? What an odd thing to do. You’re right. For most people this seems like an odd thing to do, but especially if you want to eat healthy this might be a great thing to do for you. Remember how people always complain that they don’t have enough time to prepare healthy food? Don’t be one of them. Use this one hour and prepare food for the next day(s).
- Play a game.
No. I don’t mean the new Soda Crush Saga or whatever else is trending in the App Store. I’m talking about a real, physical game. I love to play Monopoly, although I believe my blood pressure spikes everytime I play this game (and it usually takes more than one hour). If you always get excited or stressed while playing games this idea is not for you. For everybody else: start playing!
- Have sex.
Nothing to add.
Try one of these ideas and see how you sleep. I know, turning off your electronics for a whole hour is really hard (especially at the beginning), but as soon as you have other things you can do, it will be rather simple.
Shutting down your electronics one hour before going to bed will improve the quality of your sleep and the quality of your next day!