My Flawless Quick to Sleep Routine

No promises it will work for you

February 18, 2016 | 1 Comment

There have been more than a few articles about how screen time before bed time disrupts your sleep time. I’ve read many of them.

Determined to not have my precious sleep time disrupted, we got a Kindle Paperwhite a year or two ago. The technical terms fail me here, but the type of lighting on a Paperwhite isn’t the same as the blue light or back light or whatever that messes with the sleepy brain. So I’m told.

It seems to be working for me, but not the way it is described.

Most nights I settle in bed with both iPad Mini and Kindle Paperwhite at hand. The iPad Mini is close by most of the day, while the Paperwhite is put to use by the family throughout the day, and I stake my claim to it when I head to bed.

There will usually be a final review on the iPad Mini of the timely kinds of things that seem important. Tomorrow’s weather, an instapaper article, a final check to see if Peyton Manning has scheduled a press conference. This time lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.

Then I’ll plug it in for an overnight charge and snag the Paperwhite. I shift from propped up to laying on my side with the Paperwhite nestled in reach and line of sight. I read fiction at bedtime, so that’s where I turn.

Just about every night, without fail, I don’t make it more than two pages. Many nights, I don’t make it through one page. Some nights, I read the same page I’d read the night before. And the night before that. I’m out and I’m out fast.

My Paperwhite is Pavlovian.

  • InklingBooks

    Quote: “The technical terms fail me here, but the type of lighting on a Paperwhite isn’t the same as the blue light or back light or whatever that messes with the sleepy brain. So I’m told.”

    Nonsense. If the Paperwhite screen is white, then it contains quite a bit of blue light. White light, by definition, contains light of all colors. If it didn’t have blue, it’d probably look orangish. I suspect Amazon fanboys have been spreading thatmyth to keep up Paperwhite sales.

    If you want to benefit from that red effect, the next version of iOS will have ways to shift the screen toward the red end of the spectrum. I suspect other devices will follow.

    Even better, get a 1-2 watt red LED light bulb and read a traditional book by that. The combination of red and dim will help you get to sleep.

    Here’s the only one I could find at Home Depot. This is a 2-watt, 25-watt equivalent. They used to have a 1-watt version for half that price. I have both. The 2-watt works in a regular light fixture. For the 1-watt you’ll probably need a reflector to make it bright enough to read by.

    You might also do what I did. There’s a hallway between my bedroom and bathroom that gets no outside light and is always dark. Rather than turn the lights on and off, I put a low-wattage red LED in the hall overhead fixture and installed another light fixture in the bathroom that taps power off it. With both on, and there’s just enough light to get around. In the daytime that two-watt-total consumption when left on beats turning lights on and off. At night, that dim red lighting doesn’t interfere with night vision.

    You might also combine reading by red light with listening to an audiobook in the dark for a few minutes after going to bed. The latter will keep your mind from locking into the frustrations of your day. There are free, classic texts available from Librivox.