UNITED STATES—I have to have perhaps one of the worst sleep patterns in the world. Some days are great, others are terrible. I think the biggest issue being the fact that I work so much, and then when you factor in school the body becomes so overworked that when I try to sleep I cannot sleep. I’ll give you a perfect example; I love the reality series “Big Brother.”

This has been a series that I have been watching for nearly 20 years, nearly every season except season 9 (one that we still don’t need to discuss). Normally, we only get one season a year, but in 2018 we were blessed with not only our normal “Big Brother,” but “Celebrity Big Brother” which was a hoot to watch after the dreadful BB19.

So you might be asking why does this all matter? Well it’s impacting my sleep! I was literally up till like 3 a.m. Friday morning watching the live feeds because I desperately wanted to know which houseguest would be victorious in an endurance competition. It was nerve-wrecking; I wanted to sleep, but for the life in me my body said stay up, you got to see how this plays out, otherwise you’ll be so anxious (anyway), you still won’t be able to sleep.

I may have slept 4 hours Friday and then back up by 8 a.m. and on the go yet again. Throw in the pressure of having to complete a thesis for my Master’s Degree and juggling a full-time job and I should be crashing with exhaustion. Look if there is something you should know about me; it’s that I am someone who is an early bird. I rarely sleep past 8 a.m., if I’m very lucky I might be able to sleep until 9, but that is so rare. That tends to be a result of me being out and about very late at night, which is a very rare occurrence for me.

Let’s be honest many of us don’t get enough sleep, if anything Americans are sleeping less and less each day. This is not just for adults, who will never get the same amount of sleep that we used to get when we were kids and teens, but this notion is starting to apply to kids as well. I mean I was flabbergasted when my sister told me my 6 year-old niece was up till 5 a.m. a week ago because she was playing games on her phone. My first thought, “You do know she has school in less than a week, you need to get her on a sleep pattern.”

That is the biggest problem for so many of us when it comes to sleep: technology. We allow technology to invade our lives in such a fashion that it stops us from focusing on the things that matter most: rest. The body is in constant motion most of the day, and the opportunity to get 8 hours for most of us is Heaven, but that is not a reality. A TV can be a major distraction; I mean I know people who can’t sleep without a TV on. Me on the other hand, I cannot sleep with a TV on. I need complete silence to sleep, with the exception of a fan or ceiling fan. I need some calming noise to put me to sleep. I NEVER sleep near my cell phone, for years I used to and it was a problem, because the light would flash, I would feel the need to check the time or worse, I would get a text message or something and my sleep would be disturbed. You want to ignore it, but you can’t because if you do, it leaves you anxious wanting to know what the message is about.

This also goes for tablets, computers and any other gadgets that you utilize in the bed instead of closing your eyes and actually getting sleep which is what you need. Get rid of the gadgets, lock them away or put them in a place so that when you do close your eyes you are not distracted. It is also important to get on a steady sleep cycle. One where you aim to fall asleep at the same time each night, a constant shift in when you sleep will always hurt you. You have to train the body to do otherwise. It’s like kids, once you have them trained it because habit. That is very hard for adults to do, but it is something we have to aim to do.

Written By Kelsey Thomas