MY LIFE-CHANGING ‘DIGITAL SUNSET’ EXPERIENCE

Over the last week, I’ve been trying something new called a ‘digital sunset’, and I’m not afraid to say that it’s CHANGED MY LIFE!
Honestly, it has.
My one wish would be that everyone gives this a try for just a couple of nights so you can experience for yourself just how I’m feeling.
Maybe you’re noticing this pattern in your life too?
I’d gotten myself into a horrible routine that was sucking the life out of me and leaving me feel flat and deflated. I would sleep in, try and work all day, and then experience a slump in the afternoon as I’d be feeling really exhausted, emotional, foggy and just over everything. Then after around 7pm I would perk back up again and feel like I wanted to smash out more work, even though I knew that was when I wanted to be winding down and getting ready and relaxed for bed. But I would jump back on my laptop, spend a few hours on there and then before I knew it, it was after 11pm and I was crawling into bed, feeling so drained but mentally wired at the same time, and couldn’t get to sleep for another hour or so because there was so much mental chatter going on in my mind. Then of course, as I’d gone to bed so late the cycle continued, and I would be sleeping in again as I didn’t get the deep, refreshing sleep I so desperately needed.

Sound familiar? It’s a common pattern that so many people get themselves into these days, and find it hard to get out of.

I don’t know where the idea came from exactly, but my husband told me about a video he’d seen that mentioned the concept of a ‘digital sunset’, where you switch off technology- in this sense, screens – when the sun goes down.
It makes total sense. Back in the days before we had light bulbs and electronics, we would be aligned with the rhythms of nature. When the sun goes down, it’s dark. It’s that simple. There was nothing but the light of the moon and the stars. We’ve created artificial light to be able to see at night time, and while this has it’s benefits, it also has it’s downfalls. We’ve lost our connection to that natural rhythm, and it affects our own circadian rhythm- our internal body clock that regulates our sleep and waking cycles.

You may feel that coming home after a long day at work and watching TV or scrolling through social media is relaxing, but it’s actually not. It has the opposite effect on your mind, body and soul. Your poor, exhausted brain is already so overworked, in need of rest, but instead of giving it the break it needs and wants you set yourself up in front of a screen, bombarding it with even more information.

When we’re spending our nights glued to our tv screens, computers or phones, the glaring, artificial light from them is also keeping us awake, and the constant flow of information we’re receiving from them is keeping our brain switched on, as it’s trying to process and take in everything you’re watching and listening to.
We can’t expect to have a calm and easy start to our sleep session when we’ve been inundated with stimulus all night and haven’t allowed ourselves a moment to just be.
Is your mind filled with thoughts when your head hits the pillow? It’s because you haven’t given yourself the quiet space for your brain to digest your day yet. If the moment you lie down in your bed is the first moment of stillness you’ve had all day, then that’s also the first time your brain has had the chance to process anything. If you give it that time and space earlier in the night, falling asleep will happen with much more ease and less stress.
SO, ENTER ‘DIGITAL SUNSET’
It’s time to give your mind, body and soul a rest, beautiful.
It’s time to give yourself permission to switch off!
Please try this for yourself. You won’t regret it, I promise!
I honestly did not realise how incredibly anxious it makes us, having the subconscious sense or feeling that we have to be ‘on’ all the time.
We’re now so immersed in social media that we don’t even realise how much it has taken over our lives. For some of you, the thought alone of switching your devices off at night probably scares you and brings up anxiety. And if it does, that’s a sure fire sign that you’re obsessed, and you need to do this more than anyone else!
I LOVED the first night of doing this. Absolutely loved it. As soon as the sun went down, off went my phone and laptop. The moment they went off I instantly felt lighter. Like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Like I could breathe easier.
There was no one to answer to. Just myself and my REAL life.
Total freedom to do whatever I wanted.
It was actually a really strange sensation.

I could cook a delicious, nourishing meal without rushing or feeling like it was a chore. I could sit down and actually ENJOY that meal, without being distracted by the TV or a notification. I had time to read, to stretch, to talk to my loved ones. To take a long soak in a hot bath. It was like I was at a day spa. Which is actually hilarious because I realised that we go on holidays and to day spas to give ourselves a break, yet we can do that in our daily lives just by turning off our phones!

Are you someone who says you never have time for anything? Me too! And to be honest I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t thought that. I was recently talking to a friend who said that she had stopped herself from replying to emails at night time, with the intention of cutting down her technology time, but the problem was that she would still actually read the emails at night. This meant that she went to bed with the stress and anxiety of not being able to reply, even once she knew what they had emailed her about, so no wonder why she couldn’t fall asleep when there was so much inner chatter and to-do lists running through her mind.

The solution?

WE NEED TO SWITCH OUR DEVICES OFF.
COMPLETELY OFF.
The temptation is gone.
The pressure is off.
Your evenings will be filled with SO much free time that you literally won’t know what to do with yourself. It will hit 8pm and you’ll be feeling tired and ready for bed, because you’ve allowed yourself that wind down, relaxation time.
Each night I do this, I feel incredible the following morning. I sleep better, and wake up feeling refreshed and rested. My eyes are brighter and whiter, and the skin on my face looks clearer. I feel like I’m glowing. And on the nights that I didn’t do it properly- when I fell back into my old routine and spent a couple of hours on my laptop or phone at night, even sporadically or for short periods of time- I noticed the difference. I was craving to be switched off. It took me ages to chill out when I got into bed, and I had restless nights’ sleep, waking up feeling pretty drained and annoyed that the day was starting because I just wanted to go back to sleep.
Obviously if you have something already booked for a night, like attending a webinar or a Skype session, then you can let it slide for that event, but don’t allow yourself to give into the temptation and scroll through Facebook and Insta or check your emails while you’re at it.
I also want to stress that I know everyone is different, with different schedules and lifestyles. You might not be able to switch off at sunset, because you might still be at work, and that’s ok. Do any little bit you can to help yourself. Ease into it and be kind and gentle with yourself. Maybe it means turning your devices off an hour before bedtime instead of at sunset. Do what works for you.
Do something loving for yourself. Give yourself permission to switch off. Allow yourself to check out of having to be ‘on’. Your health and wellbeing is infinitely more important than being available to reply to a comment or an email if one happens to pop up.
Whatever it is, it can wait until the morning. The world isn’t going to end, and everything WILL be ok.
Remind yourself of that.

4 Comments

  1. Ange

    I. Love. This. Just reading through this has gotten me so excited to try it!!!

    Reply
    • Heidi

      Yay Ange!! Hope you enjoy the experience! :D

      Reply
  2. Jae

    Love this Heids! Going to give it a go this week :) Thanks for the inspiration! x

    Reply
    • Heidi

      Thanks lovely! Hope you enjoy the experience! xx

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *