Updated 26 January 2016

UltimateYou challenge Day 16: No electronic screens 2 hours before bed

Welcome to Day 16 of the Free 30-Day Ultimate You Healthy Habits Challenge brought to you by Sleekgeek and Health24!

On this 30 day challenge you will receive one task daily to complete in order to help you eat, move, think, and sleep better.

Today’s task is to avoid all electronic screens 2 hours before bed.

On day 12 we challenged you to block out as much light at night while you slept as possible. One of the key tips was to turn off any unnecessary lighting and to avoid watching TV, being on your computer, looking at your mobile phone or tablet, or anything else that has a bright screen.

Stay connected with SleekGeek on Facebook

Tonight we are putting a strong focus on that tip as it is such a critically important habit to get into and yet over ignored or underestimated.

We are so used to either working, catching up on Facebook and other social media, or watching TV/movies right up until bedtime that it’s become an ingrained part of our bedtime routine. A habit that’s definitely not working in our favour.

To refresh your memory:

A hormone called melatonin plays a very important role in regulating our internal sleep-wake clock called the circadian rhythm. When we are exposed to bright light (particularly blue light from electronics, LED bulbs, etc) our brains interpret it to mean that it’s daytime so melatonin production gets suppressed.

In case you missed these:

Day 1: Eat slowly and mindfully

Day 2: Move 6,000 steps

Day 3: List 5 things that you are grateful for

This means with light exposure at night it becomes harder and takes longer for us to fall asleep. Some people are more sensitive to this than others, but in general light exposure can affect both the quality and quantity of our sleep.

That is why your task for tonight is to make your room as dark as possible at night, and avoid bright light (particularly from electronics) an hour or so before bedtime.

For a more in-depth explanation and all the science behind how blue light disrupts your sleep you can read Authority Nutrition’s article on the sleeping better.

How to complete today’s task:

Your top priority is to avoid all electronic screens and bright light as much as possible in the 2 hours before bedtime.

I know you are thinking that this is going to be really hard. But remember, quitting cocaine or smoking is hard. Making a small change to less than ½ percent of the 24 hours in your day is not hard - it’s just uncomfortable.

2 hours before going to bed:
- Turn off any unnecessary lighting. Opt for softer, warmer, dimmer lights - think “romantic candlelit dinner”.
- Avoid watching TV, being on your computer, looking at your mobile phone or tablet, or anything else that has a bright screen.
- If you like to read before bed, read a real book or a tablet like certain Kindles that do not have any backlighting at all.
- If you don’t like to read but still want something to do, how about listening to some relaxing music or grabbing one of those adult colouring books?

In case you missed these:

Day 4: No caffeine after 1pm

Day 5: Eat green veggies with dinner

Day 6: Do 50 Squats

Remember: Sleep is one of the most overlooked limiting factors on your journey to living a healthy lifestyle. Improving it any way you can - no matter how small the improvements - should be an absolute top priority.

Sweet dreams!

See you tomorrow for your next Healthy Habit!

1. You can sign up for FREE here: Ultimate You

2. We also have an 8 week challenge that includes meal plans and hot prizes. Sign up and you might win! Sign up with Health24, Sleekgeek UltimateYou 8-week challenge


Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.