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3 Things I Learned Last Week #67 – Screen Dreams and Brain Schemes

Welcome to the 67th edition of “3 Things I Learned Last Week”! ๐ŸŒŸ

Join me on my wild ride of discovery as I sift through the goldmine of knowledge every week. This newsletter is a blend of insights and nuggets of wisdom from my recent adventures. Iโ€™m pumped to share these gems with you and hope they tickle your brain cells as much as they did mine. Feel free to spread the joy and share this newsletter with friends who might enjoy it!

Here’s the scoop for this week:

  1. How Screens Actually Affect Your Sleep
  2. How Smartphones Shrink Our Brains
  3. How to Become Indistractable with Nir Eyal

Let’s dive in!

๐Ÿ’ค How Screens Actually Affect Your Sleep

Watch the video here

๐Ÿ”‘ Key Takeaways:

  • The regulation of our sleep-wake cycle is intricately tied to natural light, influencing melatonin production, which induces sleepiness.
  • Artificial light, especially from screens, can mess up these natural cues, with blue light from screens being the ultimate sleep villain, suppressing melatonin production.
  • Night mode features help but are not fully effective. The type, proximity, and intensity of light also affect our circadian system.
  • Engaging in stimulating activities on our phones can turn your brain into a raver at a neon party, making it hard to fall asleep.
  • To counteract late-night screen exposure, seek higher light exposure in the morning to reset your body’s internal clock.

The relationship between phone usage and sleep quality is like a complicated love story.

Be mindful of your phone usage, especially in the evening, and incorporate strategies like morning light exposure to improve your sleep patterns and overall well-being.

(Or just put the phone down and read a book. Preferably one that’s not glowing.)

๐Ÿ“ฑ How Smartphones Shrink Our Brains

Watch the video here

๐Ÿ”‘ Key Takeaways:

  • Smartphones revolutionized communication and information access but have side effects on cognitive abilities and mental well-being.
  • Constant feedback and instant gratification trigger dopamine release, making us dopamine junkies. Reality? What’s that?
  • Excessive use can shrink the hippocampus and lower gray matter volumes, increasing mental health risks.
  • Strategies to mitigate effects include regular exercise, limiting social media, and using “dumb phones” (remember those?).
  • Practical steps involve being mindful of usage, avoiding multitasking, and relying more on memory instead of digital prompts.

While smartphones offer immense benefits, their overuse can turn our brains into mushy gray goo.

Striking a balance between technology’s advantages and cognitive well-being is crucial. So maybe, just maybe, we should put the phone down and go outside once in a while.

Or at least look at a tree GIF.

๐Ÿš€ How to Become Indistractable with Nir Eyal

Watch the video here

๐Ÿ”‘ Key Takeaways:

  • Distraction has been a persistent challenge since ancient times, known as “akrasia” in Plato’s era (and it wasn’t even because of TikTok).
  • The key to combating distraction is engaging in purposeful actions that align with one’s objectives, termed “traction.”
  • Understanding distraction involves recognizing external triggers, like notifications, and internal triggers rooted in discomfort.
  • Effective time management is a form of pain management, addressing underlying discomforts to focus on meaningful tasks.
  • The battle against distraction is about understanding and addressing internal motivations and being mindful of the intent behind every action.

By acknowledging that time management is intertwined with managing the discomforts that lead to distraction, we can develop strategies to stay indistractable and focus on purposeful endeavors. So, next time you find yourself lost in the endless scroll, remember: it’s not you, it’s your brain trying to escape from something uncomfortable.

Give it a hug, and then get back to work.

That’s all for this edition of “3 Things I Learned Last Week.” I hope these insights add value to your personal and professional growth. Stay curious and keep exploring!

Don’t miss out on your weekly dose of knowledge. If you’re not already subscribed, click below to join the community.

๐Ÿ“ฉ Subscribe here

Wishing you a week full of learning, growth, and opportunities!

Warm regards,

~ Nathan

The author partially generated this content with GPT-4 & ChatGPT, Claude 3, Gemini Advanced, and other large-scale language-generation models. Upon developing the draft, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the content to their liking and took ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.






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