No Tech 90
According to Dr. Rangan Chatterjee in March of 2018, we are in a sleep deprivation epidemic right now. It is really a problem, especially because there are so many side effects of sleep deprivation, such as:
Putting on weight
Increased risk of diabetes
Lack of sex drive
Trouble with thinking and concentration
High blood pressure
And so. Much. more
So, what do we do to combat this epidemic?
There are a lot of things, but today I’m going to chat with you about no tech 90.
No tech 90 is simply this: For 90 minutes before bed, switch off all technology. The blue light emitted from those devices can change the hormone levels of melatonin which is the hormone we need to get nice peaceful sleep.
Dr. Chatterjee says it also decreases the mental stimulation that often prevents us from falling into a deep, relaxing sleep.
This thing works so well, he has seriously seen significant improvements in his patients from them simply switching off their devices in the last hour and a half before bed!
So, I read this article months ago, and I decided to try it. The thing is, for me, I really needed to ease into it first. I was so used to sitting in bed with my laptop until I couldn’t see anything anymore, and scrolling on Instagram until I fell asleep with my phone in my hand. I knew I needed to make a change, but I had to dip my toes in the water before I could jump fully into the pool, you know what I’m saying?
So I started with no tech 30.
I did that for a month or so. I usually go to bed around 11, so I committed to shutting off my devices at 10:30 and reading the last half hour before bed. And It was great! I felt like I fell asleep faster for sure, and I honestly just felt better about myself. It could have been placebo at that point but who cares? It was just the small win I needed to keep going.
The next month was tough, because I upped my game to 60 minutes.
But this was when Addison was gone recording a band in West Virginia. It was hard, because I was shutting off technology an HOUR before bed, but I had no one to entertain me! Sure, most nights I read and that was great, but what about the nights I didn’t feel like reading? What was I going to do, stare at the wall?
That’s when I got more into knitting again. I had completely forgotten how much I love threading needles back and forth, back and forth. It’s requires undivided attention if you want your project to come out right, so it was the perfect thing to direct my mind to the hour before bed. And it worked!
Then I waited until October to try the full no tech 90.
Because honestly guys, I was scared! I was afraid what would happen to my BUSINESS if I stopped working at 9:30. I know that’s absolutely ridiculous, because I shouldn’t be working from 8am to 10pm every day, but let's be real: I do most days. I mean, I’ll take breaks to eat and everything, but where most people shut their work day off at 5 or 6, I eat dinner and then get right back to it.
But, I knew I had to. I had to do it so i wouldn’t be sleep deprived, I had to do it for my health and my sanity, so I did.
I have to admit, there were days when I completely, epically failed. Like multiple days--especially the ones around halloween where Addison and I were binge-watching The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix until 2am--by the way, if you haven’t watched that, WATCH THAT. Such a well-done series, we are obsessed. Anyway, I wasn’t perfect. But i can say that over the last month I’ve loooooved my results!
I’ve found I have so much less trouble getting up and doing my workout in the morning, I only drink one cup of coffee every day, and I sleep better throughout the night (again, except for the haunting of hill house nights… I definitely had some ghost-related dreams that week).
I really just felt better all around!
You know when you do something and it makes you feel great and you just want to do it all the time? Like, you get into going to the gym and eating right and you want to stay on your new health plan because you’re amazed at how great you feel, or even like you got a new lip color that you feel FAB in so you want to wear it every day?! Yea, that’s how I felt with this no tech 90 thing.
I was feeling so good, that I was like, I wonder if i can do this on BOTH ends of my days and feel TWICE as good. And, for humor’s sake I wish I could follow this up with a dramatic… but Iwas wrong. Friends, I’m serious, it TOTALLY WORKED!
So here’s what I did: I started easing INTO my day without technology.
The past couple of days, I’ve gotten up to an alarm on my phone like I normally do, but instead of immediately checking my texts, scrolling on Facebook, and posting on Instagram, I just… don’t. I stare at the ceiling. I cuddle my kitten. I look over at Addison still sound asleep and think about how grateful I am that I get to wake up to him every day. I just BE for about 15 minutes--no screen time at all.
Then, when I’m ready, I go into the living room and immediately get my workout out of the way. I’m the kind of person who, if I don’t work out in the morning, I don’t work out. Period. Even if I tell myself I’ll work out later, there’s like a 0% chance I’ll actually do it. So, anyway, I then work out for a half hour and I guess this is where I kind of break the rule with technology because I put a podcast on. But I’m SUPER diligent with it guys, like, I literally click the podcast app, click a podcast like the lively show or goal digger or the angie lee show and then immediately put it down. I’m also the kind of person that if I don’t listen to a podcast while I’m working out I go INSANE! Haha.
But I was thinking about it and honestly it’s good, because my friend and business mentor Karen often says that you’re most productive in the first 3 hours after you wake up, so what would it look like if you spent that time on yourself?
Meaning--when I’m doing my workout and absorbing a personal development podcast within the first 15 minutes of waking, all that knowledge-y goodness is going right into mah brain and I’m going to carry it with me all day! ;)
Anyway, so after the workout, I’ve been awake for 45 minutes. Then I get in the shower and get dressed, put makeup on, and now I’m 1 hour and 15 minutes or so into my day and I STILL haven’t looked at my phone aside from turning on my podcast. Now finally, in the last 15 minutes of the no tech 90, i make myself some breakfast, usually oatmeal because lets be real, I’m not 22 im 85, and enjoy a cup of coffee. Usually I eat with my calendar in front of me and go through my commitments and to-do list for the day. Before I know it, I have been through my 90 minutes of tech-free goodness!
You know what’s funny though?
Now that I’m combining the no tech 90 at night with the no tech 90 in the morning, it’s 3 hours of my day that I’m not attached at the hip to my phone and i thought it would mean that the other hours i DID have my phone would be glorious, like I would covet them and spend more time on social media. What’s amazing though is that the exact OPPOSITE happened, this week--I find myself not reaching for my phone in every waking hour. I find that when I allow my brain to be bored and “unproductive” it actually makes it creative and productive! It’s so ironic.
So, now, after doing no tech 90 on BOTH ends of my day, i feel lighter. I don’t feel glued to social media. Sure, i still love connecting with you guys on Instagram and taking pictures of my cats whenever I get the chance, but I really don’t feel like it’s mandatory anymore. I start and end my day with intention, with connection with Addison and cuddles with Stevie, and I feel better. I don’t wake up and immediately check my email, allowing my inbox to dictate my mood. It’s amazing.
Friends, I love you guys. Since this has been so beneficial in my life, I would love for you to give no tech 90 a try. Like me, you might have to ease into it, but if you’re listening to this in real time we have less than 8 weeks left until the end of the year. What about if in 8 weeks you transformed your habits in 30 minute increments in every week? That would mean you’d kick of 2019 with a healthier relationship to technology, better sleep habits, and deeper connections with those around you. I don’t know about you, but that is something i can definitely get behind for my new year!
If you do decide to give this a try, post a screenshot of this episode up on your Instagram story! Tag me @coffeewithkristi and #notech90. It’s not my hashtag but I think it’d be fun for everyone who’s doing this to connect. I’d love to connect with you on the ‘gram and it’s an added bonus that you’d be sharing my show with your friends, which I would be forever grateful for. Talk to you next week!!