Are you sleeping with too many people?

15 Feb

Awake to the warming glow of technology

I sleep with too many people at night.

I am guilty. I text, respond to emails, check out Facebook, read endless streams of tweets, and sometimes even play Angry Birds.

I often have trouble sleeping. Sometimes I can’t get to sleep for hours. Other times, like last Sunday, I wake up at 4am for no reason, completely unable to get back to sleep.

I have no idea what the problem could be.

Yes, I am delusional. Of course messing around with my phone in bed is the problem. I should stop but it is just so tempting. When I set my alarm those little alert icons are too much for me to ignore.

Too many of us take our smart phone, laptop, iPad, and whatever else to bed, but it is atrocious sleep hygiene. You might also be sleep-texting, which I assume is much like “drunk-dialing” but less coherent, and more unnerving. The theory is that we are so plugged-in during the day that we can’t separate ourselves from it at night.

The 2011 iPass Global Mobile Workforce Report found that 52% of mobile workers felt that their mobile work habits affected their sleep. Terrifyingly, the report also concluded that getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night makes you 12% more likely to die before the age of 65, compared to your friend who gets six to eight hours of sleep a night.

Apps that track your sleep patterns are out there, but I wonder if they aren’t the original problem repackaged and rebranded. The fact that we eat, sleep, and breathe our devices presents enormous opportunity for the industrious among us. Even so, the dependency probably shouldn’t be encouraged.

As of tonight I am challenging myself to keep my phone and laptop out of the bedroom. I’ll plug in my forgotten alarm clock and draw some much-needed personal boundaries. If the American Sleep Association says that the bed is for sleep and sex only, then who am I to argue?

(Photo courtesy of


5 Responses to “Are you sleeping with too many people?”

  1. tribalstylemarketing February 15, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    First off, I would not be putting my phone under my pillow like that. Doing that just microwaves your head! Read your phone’s manual if you have questions. 2nd, I don’t do that with the phone, but I definitely do it w/computer. It sits on my desk beside me & I watch interviews, daily show etc. It is bad, especially when you know you need the sleep.

  2. Doug Brown February 15, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    I guess that rules out keeping your mobile device in your pants pocket too! 😉

  3. Christie February 15, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    I agree with you – I would never put my phone under my pillow either, although I am definitely guilty of having it too close to my head while I sleep. Keeping it out of the bedroom should help limit the nightly brain-nukings.

  4. dannyprew February 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Nice post Christie. Cellphones and computers actually mildly trigger the fight or flight response and can affect blood pressure and heart rate far after you’ve fallen asleep. Besides there’s no way the electromagnetic radiation can be good for our brains during sleep.

  5. Christie February 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Thanks Danny. I didn’t know they triggered the flight or fight response. That probably explains some of the weird anxiety I get from it. That and my obsessive need to demolish all the green pig things…

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