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Technology and the No-Sleep Epidemic

As a writer, among other things, I spend quite a bit of time online. I use Twitter and Facebook and read a lot of blogs. I have a lot of online friends who work in all sorts of capacities. One thing I find quite often is that we (I am including myself in this WE) have a difficult time turning off the computer and our brain, and going to bed at a decent time.

Many of us use some or all of these excuses:

It is the only time I can get anything done.

Everyone else is asleep.

The house is quiet.

It is when my brain works best.

I’m not sleepy yet.

Now, I get that you may be in a season of your life that is requiring extra time. Maybe you are trying to get a business going. Maybe you are going to school. Maybe you are a single parent and don’t have a lot of other choices. However, there are some things we can do to make some better choices and get more rest.

Why more rest?

Many of us think we can run on less sleep and get away with it. If you feel foggy-headed, irritable, draggy, unhappy, can’t make decisions and find yourself fighting off every bug that comes along, these may be the results of sleep deprivation. A lot of moms even joke about how little sleep they can get away with, however this is no laughing matter.

Last night, I turned off my computer at 8:00 p.m. I haven’t done that in forever. I did it for me and I did it for my husband. I won’t do this every night, but I am going to do it more often, that is for sure.

Many times, the “work” we are doing in the evening is surfing or social media, and engaging and connecting with friends, our audience and potential clients. While these are important things, it is also something that is not really definable. It is difficult to say “enough” because it could just go on for hours and hours.

We need to set some parameters for ourselves. If you have work to do in the evening, put some guidelines around it. Have a goal for what you need to accomplish. Set up limits like:

>> Draft a post for the guest article next week.

>> Chat on Twitter for 30 minutes.

>> Connect with friends on Facebook for 1 hour.

>> Follow back all your recent connections.

>> Research for post ideas for 30 minutes.

>> Complete assignment for school.

>> Draft report for work.

If you have a task you are working on, such as a post or a report, turn off Twitter and Facebook and close other windows. If you set a time limit, set a timer and stick to it.

As for me, I am choosing to set my limits and turn the computer off earlier in the evening.

On the other hand, I love Twitter and spend a good bit of time there. I am bad about the “horizontal tweet” (first heard this term from Scott Stratten at Unmarketing)– lying in bed tweeting from my phone when I should be going to sleep. My husband dozes right off to sleep, while I struggle to fall asleep. I will get on Twitter and can go for quite a while. I am going to set a time limit, because I get sucked into that Twitter time warp. And, since I struggle with insomnia anyway, I need to turn it off and relax my brain!

What things keep you from getting more sleep? Do you stay up when you should just “turn it off”?


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]


[author_info]About the Author

Regular Contributor Bernice Wood is a mother of 4 young adult kids, plus Nana to 7 grandchildren. After a major life change summer 2010, she began blogging to journal her personal struggles and transition. To help others avoid the pitfalls of stress and burnout and learn to live a more healthy life, she recently launched her new blog at Living the Balanced Life. [/author_info][/author]


  1. Puder Jensen

    August 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Great Advice! Sharing is caring, so thank you very much for the information!

  2. Patti B.

    June 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Those are very good tips about setting limits for tasks you do online. I will incorporate this into my weekly planning. I’ll spread the word about this post also.

  3. Crystal Paschal

    May 21, 2011 at 12:39 am

    I am SO GUILTY of this! In fact, I should be in bed right now! My husband has started leaving his laptop at the office when he leaves work…I’m not there yet. I do need to set limits, though.

    Great article!

    • Living the Balanced Life

      May 23, 2011 at 9:49 am

      I know, I have learned that I have to turn it off by a certain time in the evening! My husband brings his home, but not to “work” on, but just to surf, and he can hop on and hop off so easily! Much harder for me…

  4. Jacqueline Wilson

    May 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    GUILTY. (Did you write this post for me?!?)

    • Living the Balanced Life

      May 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      I see so many women with tweets at 2, 3, 4 o’clock in the morning and I am thinking “ARE YOU CRAZY?” And I know that there is a time zone difference, but it is still late, lol! It’s just not good for us…

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