Sleep is crucial for our health and mental performance. Many things affect its quality, and you can check Andrew Huberman's podcasts to learn more. However, today we'll focus on exploring practical ways of spending less or no time with screens before bed to fall asleep faster, make it easier for our eyes, and improve our mental space by reducing information consumption.
We'll look at things you can do alone at home, but first, let's explore long-term solutions for poor evenings. One of the reasons we fall for meaningless consumption is loneliness, and getting into romantic relationships can significantly improve the evenings because we'll have someone to talk to and do other activities together. It's not an easy task to find love, it could take a very long time, and it is worth it for most people. However, for some, it may not be the right time to get into relationships, and it's not worth settling for a mediocre bond to have someone to talk to in the evening. There are other ways to have meaningful social time, like having dinner with a friend or pursuing a hobby or activity as a group.
Another solid solution is to live somewhere you will have a better time going out than sitting at home. Some people would enjoy a big city with tons of events and activities, while others would pick a small place with a stronger sense of community. Relocation is a big move and takes a lot of money, time, and mental energy. Instead, you can test those lifestyle assumptions by going somewhere as a digital nomad, spending a few months in a new place, and doing your best living in a new way.
With remote work, you can have the freedom of working at any part of the day, and if you don't need to be online in the evening because of meetings, you can draw a line of where the workday ends. I prefer using dinner as a boundary between work and chill time. When you finish the last meal at seven and go to bed at ten, you'll have three hours to digest and wind down after work. Also, creating a quality chill time for yourself would lead to less procrastination during day time because you won't like poisoning the wine-down period by trying to finish work after dinner.
Looking at screens is the easiest way to spend time. It doesn't take anything - open YouTube or Netflix, and you are comfortably numb. We should fight the routine of meaningless evening consumption by replacing it with better habits. In the evening, we are the most tired, and our willpower is close to zero, so we should make our screen-free habits automatic and enjoyable. Start with one thing at a time, and before you know it, you'll have a stack of activities making your evenings better. To keep yourself accountable, try a daily habit tracker at Increaser.
While it could be better to go outside in the evening, it might not be an option now. Maybe there are not enough friends in the city, cold weather outside, traffic everywhere, and no place you want to go. That's how I feel right now. But there are plenty of things you can do at home too! First, you can prepare for the next day by cleaning the apartment and doing meal prep for tomorrow by cooking a large pan of soup and not worrying about food for two days. You can plan tomorrow and reflect on things that have happened today by writing in a journal and extracting interesting thoughts or lessons. To wind down your mind, you can do something small like a shower or bath, but you can also explore something longer, like a combination of meditation, breathwork, and stretching practice like yin yoga. To replace Netflix and YouTube, try audiobooks or podcasts. Those are easier for the eyes and good for sleep, but better not to listen to content that will make you think right before bed. Also, you can explore home hobbies like playing musical instruments, learning a language, or painting and crafting. Finally, you can call your family member or a friend.