The Simple Nighttime Rule That Could Transform Your Sleep Life

Hint: It's all about disconnecting.

Getting quality sleep is like trying to figure out WTF is going on with Kanye right now: Frustratingly, it’s harder than it should be. And bummer alert: Your addiction to Instagram (and Snapchat and even the Headspace app) is only making getting quality ZZZs more difficult, as staring at smartphones and tablets before bed is known to disrupt sleep by messing with melatonin levels and cutting into your REM sleep, thanks to the blue light the devices emit. Womp, womp.

But James Hamblin, senior editor at the Atlantic, who focuses on health in his writing, has a suggestion that doesn’t sound quite as miserable as Designated Screen-Free Hour, even though that’s exactly what it is. Instead, in a new video for the Atlantic, he suggests you embrace what he calls Awesome Hour. Spoiler: It’s a pre-bed screen-free hour, just with a better name. The idea of Awesome Hour is simple: abandon screens for the hour before bed, an expert-backed suggestion, to improve shuteye once you hit the sack. And in that time, do other awesome stuff: read! Go all retro and write a letter to a friend! Do anything besides staring at a screen! Hamblin claims this time, while free of technology, often turns out to be the most productive time of his day.

And sure, it’s just a screen-free hour — something you’ve probably been told to try a bazillion times if you have sleep issues. But doesn’t ditching the never-ending Instagram scroll for a book — or a conversation (that consists of more than just debating who will die in this episode of the Walking Dead) with your significant other who you haven’t seen for 12 hours — sound so much more, well, awesome when you call it the Awesome Hour? It’s all about how you frame things, I guess.

So, Awesome Hour: We dare you to try it this week and report back. We’ll be doing the same. (My only total-first-world concern: Without looking at my iPhone before bed, how will I know when it’s time to go to sleep? It’s fine, I’m sure I’ll figure it out.) You can check out Hamblin’s full argument for embracing Awesome Hour below.

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