Why You Should Put That Smart Phone Down & Get Some Sleep

April 30, 2014 Book Talk 9

Why You Should Put That Smart Phone Down & Get Some SleepThrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder by Arianna Huffington
Published by Crown Publishing Group, Harmony Books on March 25, 2014
Genres: Non-Fiction, Wellness
Pages: 352
Source: complimentary review copy
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This post was inspired byThrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington who encourages everyone to sleep their way to the top. Join From Left to Write on May 1 we discuss Thrive. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

While Thrive is about “sleeping your way to the top” it is also about shutting down, tuning in, and taking care.  I’m thinking every. single. adult. needs a copy of this book.  Huffington stresses the importance of sleep for our overall well-being.  And it’s not just children who need 8 -10 hours of sleep – adults NEED this as well.  She recounts numerous studies that reveal how bad it is to our physical and mental/emotional health when we try to run off only 4 – 6 hours.

According to a study from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, sleep deprivation reduces our emotional intelligence, self-regard, assertiveness, sense of independence, empathy toward others, the quality of our interpersonal relationships, positive thinking and impulse control.  In fact, the only thing the study found that gets better with sleep deprivation is “magical thinking” and reliance on superstition. (p. 6)

I am a huge believer in sleep and the benefits it brings.  Over six years ago when my honey and I met he was one of those who operated on the assumption that the less sleep one gets the more productive one is – ENNNN! WRONG!  I quickly brought him around to the realization that sleep is healing and absolutely necessary to our well-being.

We need to liberate ourselves from the tyranny of our fight-or-flight mechanism. And yet much of our life has actually been structured so that we live in an almost permanent state of fight-or-flight — here comes another dozen emails calling out for a response; must stay up late to finish the project; I’ll just use these four minutes of downtime to return six more calls. . .(p.61)

Another very important fact discussed in Thrive is unplugging and connecting IN REAL LIFE.  A HUGE GINORMOUS pet peeve of mine is cell phones at the dinner table.  My children are very much aware and often warn their friends before we eat because I am so anal about no cell phones, no phone calls, no text messages, no checking email, NO CELL PHONE at the dinner table.

But now I have been given an even greater idea from reading Thrive about what to do with cell phones at the dinner table ~ phone stacking!  “when friends meet for dinner–they put their cell phones in a stack in the middle of the table and the first one who checks his device before the bill comes has to pick up the check.” (p.64)  So using this one!

I was even laughing out loud when I got to the part about the “don’t take a picture of your meal” game!  I’ve known a few people who are notorious for this one!

My takeaways from Thrive:

  • At least one evening of NO devices including computers, iPad, Kindle.  My honey and I had already implemented this one a few weeks ago when we found ourselves in a routine of spending quality time with our devices but not each other.
  • Incorporate meditation and mindfulness into my daily routine.  The benefits are life-altering.
  • Connect with others and not virtually.  We are wired for connection – and not in the virtual sense.  Connecting with my mom by taking her to lunch or spending a few hours together shopping; connecting with each of my children by spending time with them in their environments; and time with friends is so critical to our mental well-being.
  • Play the phone-stacking game!

This is one of those books that while the content was not necessarily new it is a huge reminder to unplug and connect with ourselves and others.  Definitely a book everyone should read and take to heart.

How do you take care of yourself?  Are you getting enough sleep? QUALITY sleep?

Do you have any time that you unplug? unwind?

9 Responses to “Why You Should Put That Smart Phone Down & Get Some Sleep”

  1. Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves)

    Great post! My husband calls me a baby about sleep because I need at least 8 hours and am grumpy if I don’t get it…now I can tell him this is a medically proven health need! I also agree about the need to unplug…although, does a Kindle really count as a “device” on anywhere except an airplane? It’s the same as reading a book and, if the book was paper, would it count as a “device”? Interesting question for us book bloggers…

    • Stacy (The Novel Life)

      Yup ~ be sure to read the quote to your husband about the Walter Reed Army Institute research on sleep deprivation. It’s definitely an eye- opener. . .or closer 😉 haha! bad joke, hmm?

      I questioned myself several times before adding about the Kindle in the post because it IS reading and reading is good. . .our problem was that my honey was on his iPad and I would be reading and we’d essentially not have a conversation for hours yet be sitting right next to each other! So, for us, and it’s just one night a week, we completely unplug – no tv, no books, just each other and our best conversation skills.

      Tell that husband of yours you are a healthy SMART person because you do know and understand the benefits of sleep 😉

  2. Thien-Kim

    We have a no screens at the dinner table rule here. My kids don’t have smartphones (too young) but it’s mostly for the parents and guests.

  3. Betsy Moats

    I so agree! I hate cell phones at the dinner table. I also loved this book and think everyone should read it and re-read it!

  4. Briana Ford

    I like the idea of phone stacking! I’ve got to try that next time I go out to dinner. I do try to unplug when I’m at home. When I spend the night at my grandparents’ house, sometimes I intentionally leave my computer at home. There are nights when I don’t tend to my phone, don’t turn on the TV, I just read and listen to smooth jazz. And it feels great!

  5. stacybuckeye

    I don’t think I’ve really had quality sleep since Gage was born and often fall into the 6 hour sleep trap. I know I need to make it more of a priority – thanks for the reminder 🙂

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