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

By Anovelsource @thenovellife

Arianna Huffington
Crown Publishing GroupHarmony Books
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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?

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