You look over at the clock and its 3 AM. You hopped into bed at 11 PM to go to bed but pulled out your laptop and phone and spent the next 4 hours mindlessly surfing the internet on social media, YouTube and Netflix.This is a big common occurrence for a lot of us in high school, college and young professionals.
So, you turn off the lights at 3 AM, and try to fall asleep. If you’re a good sleeper and tired, you’re out instantly. If you’re like me, the average person, it’ll take you a while to fall asleep. Thoughts will be racing through your head; what happens in the next episode, what’s the next YouTube video about and when will I get another notification. Eventually you wake up the next morning early if you have to go to work, or late and miss class but will feel like shit regardless.
Studies show that screens are one of the most addicting things in the world. The average American watches almost 3 hours of TV every day. 3 hours! Don’t be the average American. Did you know that apps were designed so that when you pulled down the screen to refresh for notifications, it was supposed to mimic a slot machine? I have found myself subconsciously refreshing my email constantly while waiting for one. We all have. Technology has also been linked to the astonishing rise in ADHD, depression and anxiety among young people. And we wonder why the decline in society especially among men has been happening this past generation cycle.
So how does link to sleep? When using electronics, the screen mimics blue light. Blue light is supposed to help regulate your circadian rhythm and sleep cycles. However, the exposure to blue light past certain hours causes your body to become confused and push your natural cycle back. This is called delayed sleep phase. A disorder predicted to affect over 50% of this current young generation.
The lack of sleep or later cycle sleep has been linked to many health issues. One of the biggest TRP advocates is lifting. Yet a long list of people won’t make any progress in the gym. One of my friends (Tom) recently came to me and asked why he wasn’t making any progress and plateaued. I asked him
Are you lifting consistently. Yes
Are you eating the proper food and hitting macros. Yes, for the most part
Are you getting a quality 8 hours of sleep every night? Well, I get 6-8 hours but go to bed at 2-3 AM.
This is where Tom failed. He was getting 8 hours of sleep but it wasn’t quality. Your body naturally releases HGH from the hours of 11 pm – 5 am. During this time your body rebuilds muscle growth and regenerates the cells and brain. This means you should be asleep during this time. I suffer from rosacea so when I don’t sleep well my skin turns red and I get heavy eyes. Not a good look. A shit circadian rhythm also throws off the natural production melatonin, testosterone and cortisol, hormones that regulate mood, muscle growth and weight. Based on body type, poor sleep can cause severe weight loss or weight gain. This will impact your overall life.
Down the line serious health issues occur. The main case of premature death is poor sleep. This is because it increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, accidents, the list could go on.
Next time you have a paper or report due in the morning and its 10 pm, just go to bed. Procrastination happens, I procrastinate and produce some of my best work. At night your body has a false sense of confidence, you waste time for a few hours and then realize its 1 am and start burning the midnight oil. You finish the report at 4 am and get to bed. Instead you could go to bed at 10, wake up at 5 and churn through the report in 90 minutes because the false sense of confidence isn’t there and you have lots of energy flowing through you from a good night’s sleep.
There will be nights where you are out late. There is nothing wrong with going out with friends and having a good time. Be selective with how you spend your nights. How many nights have you had where you don’t want to go out but do and have a crappy time. Or how many times where you say one more episode and next thing you know you finished the season and its 4 am. You curse at yourself saying what a waste I have shit to do tomorrow. Be mindful of your time and how it’s used. Don’t be a mindless zombie trudging through life with terrible posture, dead eyes/face and their head buried in their phone like the average chump I see on campus every day. If you can develop this habit, you’ll learn to value the nights you do got out and maximize the amount of fun you have.
A good early night sleep for the next day will help with overall clarity, mood, confidence, strength and sex drive. The most successful people in the world go to bed early and wake up early. They discovered one of the big keys to life. It isn’t secret or hidden. It is well known. People are too dependent on technology to follow it. Don’t listen to the stupid BuzzFeed or Deadspin garbage that tells you it’s good to stay up. Sure, you can sleep when your dead, but you’ll also die early and have a long list of problems while you’re alive. You know from this post the reasons to go to bed early and wake up with an early start of the day. Set the example and don’t be like everyone else. Turn off those screens, wind down and hit the sheets.
Edit: I put this together quickly on a plane and I will be away for the next couple of days or so. Let me know in comments if you find any errors or have any questions.
Second edit: 3 my mom taught me lessons in life
Don’t be like everyone else. I used to detest this until I realized 99% of people are losers who will detract you from goals. So many “friends” have called me a pussy for not wanting to go out and for going to bed early. So don’t be like everyone else.
An hour of sleep between 10-12 is considered 2 hours.
Nothing good happens after midnight. Her words the night I turned 21; bars become sausage fests, guys become aggressive and violent because they can’t get laid, crime significantly rises and DUIs/accidents quadruple. This is gold standard in CA.
Also assuming people mentioning the blue light blockers or night modes, sure they block out blue light by your brain (not 100%) and still being stimulated by what’s on the screen. When this occurs it’s hard to put things away.