Friday, March 7, 2014

Sleeping Alone?

As I went to sleep last night, I considered leaving my cell phone downstairs in the kitchen, but I couldn't quite separate from it. I wasn't ready to sleep alone without it. Just like every night, it sat on my bedside table with the alarm set for 6:15 am in order to make sure my16 year old, who sleeps with her phone next to her pillow, is awake. I'm sure many teens sleep with their phones close at hand. The good thing about my daughter's sleep patterns are once she's asleep, she's asleep. Nine nights out of ten she sleeps all the way through the night, needing a couple of wake up nudges in the morning. I do not sleep through the night.

After reading McGonigal's article along with excerpts from Leslie Perlow's Sleeping with Your Smartphone: How to Break the 24/7 Habit and Change the Way You Work, I realized I may have a problem with an attachment to my phone at night. I do sleep with my phone, check it in the middle of the night and when I first wake up. This is not good. Thus, my commitment tonight is to truly leave the phone in the kitchen. I have an alarm clock by my bed, and I am curious to see if I sleep better through the night. It will be equally interesting to see what happens if I do wake at night. Will I have that urge to go down and check my phone, and if I do. What am I looking for?

A few weeks ago, I asked a group of bartenders at Red Raven in Acton, MA at the end of the evening what they were looking for in their phones. There were three bartenders, two men and a woman, between the ages of 24 and 28. They are an interesting demographic in relation to their smart phone. The iPhone came out in 2007, thus these three were between the ages of 17 and 21 with their first use. This is a much different demographic from the current high school students who have been exposed to a smart phone from ages 7 to 10 years old. These teens did not really have a time period without these, and current middle school students have been exposed for more of their lives. But this is a digression. I was asking myself, "What are you looking for, Susan?" A question to ponder at another time.

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