One month last year, I decided to restrict my usage of lights (house lights, digital screens, ect.). What I would do when I came home from work around 6pm was do one last clense of my emails and then shut everything off. I would turn off all the lights in my house and light candles instead.
It was amazing how my sleep patterns changed. By just having candle light in the house from 6pm to 7am, I was able to easily and calmly fall asleep by 9pm after spending a few hours cooking dinner and reading books. My sleep changed to a point where I would slightly wake up at 4am and then gently fall back asleep for another couple of hours.
My productivity levels during the day were better thanks to the deep sleep I got.
Just thought I would share that experience here for those who don't have the luxury of shutting off the internet for a month, but can do a retreat every night to bring yourself back to a natural, calm state of mind.
For anybody who uses use Flux, this is basically like that but for my home. Since I'm prone to SAD-like symptoms, I keep it set on summer time: the lights come on dim and red at 6 in the morning, gradually brighten to a high color temperature white during the day, and fade during the evening, going completely out at 10.
I thought the main benefit would be waking gently in the morning, and that's fine. But really, the best part is the dimming light in the evening. I gradually get tired and go to bed easily; I sleep a solid 7-8 hours every night. Like you, I'm generally well-rested and productive. My mood is also more even, and I've had little or no seasonal melancholy. I've also kicked caffeine and don't miss it.
I recommend it highly.
One really positive change I made in the past is to put my phone in another room for overnight charging. Having
devices next to the bed isn't the best idea for sleep or relationships :)
Bedroom is for sleeping (etc) and not for reading/updating whatever so I go to bed at around 11pm to midnight.
Some "common sense" suggestions:
- move closer to job
- work sane hours
- change your job
- arrange flexible hours with managers to travel off-peak
Something "controversial" - there were some threads about nootropics - some people say it's a "zero sum game" - taking credit from your brain bank account... Look at Modafinil (over the counter from online pharmacies).
I find it helpful to use a text-only interface and use tmux along with a tiling window manager. But basically, learn how to use your computer without a mouse. It takes a long time to get comfortable with this setup, but it pays incredible dividends when you finally do (well... for example 2 hours of your life back every day).
With the off-peak thing, one suggestion would be to get to bed super early and take the first bus/train in. This tends to be the least susceptible to problems. It's also easier to sell the boss on the idea of starting at 6 am rather than 11 am. The trick is to have the internal fortitude to leave at 3 pm. Assuming you work in the city and live further out, this should allow you space on the bus/train to work.
Suggestion which may not be practical: get up 1 hour earlier? So move the sleep time forward so you get some but can do some personal work.
I don't accept more than 1h commute total per day, or ask for remote to compensate.
I commute just under 2 hours each way to London. All the work is in London. I used to live in London when I was younger. I would rather jump off a bridge than live in London now.
The way to compensate is by working partly remotely. That way you get to enjoy the place you live at least part of the time.
Up here in sunny Brum: you could be back up from London in 1h30 on a Pendolino and still live in a leafy suburb (15 min local train from New St gets you to the half acre garden territory).
 May require changing jobs.
We all make choices, mostly they can be undone.
I found nothing in that sort of form factor that wasn't far too bright, and all of them were LED (incandescent would be much nicer). I just want a little battery-powered lamp that takes a weak nightlight bulb. Seems like it should exist.
[EDIT] after writing this I tried "portable nightlight" on a whim and that search does return things kinda like what I want, though they're all LED and in form factors that wouldn't be too pleasant to carry around. So close, but not quite.
If you need specific advice I recommend the r/flashlight community on reddit.
I really hope this is the start of a backlash against the backlight and pay to play.
I just want a 4 watt incandescent nightlight light bulb (or similar) on a small mount with a handle or grip of some kind, the ability to stand up on its own, and battery power. Should cost $10 or less, if it exists.
- Can read OK with one, probably fine with two or three
- 2x AA batteries; rechargeable ones work fine.
- Easy for kids or parent to hold/transport
- LED circuit flickers, seeming more like candle light. Probably not as good as the pattern you saw linked on HN last year. ;)
The real wax texture is both weird and cool, but the down side is they scratch easily. I wish I had them in plastic, honestly, but now that the kids have wrecked the surface I no longer care as much. ;)
Oddly enough then, a TV screen just 2m away is fine, but reading on the iPad close to my face isn't and will keep me awake.
So I think the recipe for better sleep schedule is a combination of wllingly disengaging from the mental activity involved even in light browsing, as well as the light exposure. The first is much more significant. Think of it as some "zen" / meditation / "be present" time before bed. A good hour for me. I usually don't even care what's on the telly / chromecast, I watch Twitch and even when the hosts are noisy I can fall asleep.
It' a good time to point out that the f.lux solutions and the one included in iOS is just for comfort and does absolutely SQUAT to help you get to sleep.
So disengaging from the dopamine feeding activity that sadly most apps are designed for nowadays, that is the key. A good hour before expected bedtime for me.
And I can really feel it in my body as well, stress settling down. Tip: put a heavy blanket on your lap to help you unwind, the pressure and warmth stresses you down.
The KEY here that seems to be missed is that the light exposure late at night is related to the mental activity, often dopamine inducing activity of surfing or playing games. Think about it, why else would you expose yourself to a glaring light late in the evening? WHat purpose? The only reason we do so is to scroll the Twitter feed, read the news, click yet another link to another webpage, and on and on.
A lot of people quickly reverse that sentiment once they try having a consistent schedule of high quality sleep.
When I use a campfire, I usually stay up significantly later, which is interesting. Just because the light is "natural" does not necessarily mean it's natural to have the light at a certain hour.
We had to launch it as a web app because Apple said that "any app that encourages you to use your phone less is not appropriate for the app store" when we submitted the native version.
Apple works hard to make their devices and apps addictive.
>Space loads a Moments of Zen before apps you need space from.
This short-circuits instant gratification and puts you in charge again.
So if I hit an app icon, it launches your app instead? I don't understand the details entirely, but I can see why they wouldn't want that.
Space creates a space-launcher icon that you put where you used to keep facebook on your home screen. Now you click the space-launcher instead of clicking facebook. The space-launcher loads a 2-12 second meditation exercise, then loads facebook.
Pixel is getting close, but still needs to not have insane design decisions like the weird oversized spacing of every app, and the fingerprint sensor in the stupidest place possible.
I have a 6 year old boy; I'd like to e.g. time limit games time to a set amount of time, and allow more time for apps that I have vetted positive for his learning.
Ideally I'd link N amount of productivity time to bonus time in the games category, however I'd settle for just being able to restrict overall app usage by category timers.
When/if my son's iPad breaks, it won't be replaced by a new one.
How can this be legal?
I wouldn't expect anything made by Apple to be open in any way
That said, I think it's ridiculous.
Let's please not pick up our anti trust pitchforks to take the minority share luxury brand to task. This behavior is not at all new btw. The app store is as restrictive as it's always been and they've never offered an "allow install from unknown sources".
If you don't like it, don't buy apple.
> We had to launch it as a web app because Apple said that "any app that encourages you to use your phone less is not appropriate for the app store" when we submitted the native version.
That sucks. And doesn't sound consistent. What about Forest, which Apple has featured? You pre-commit to some duration where you won't use the device (won't leave the Forest app or lock screen, anyway), while a digital tree grows, or dies if you violate the rule and joins your forest if you don't.
Consider - https://github.com/jefferyleo/f.lux - install manually via Xcode?
The stupid links immediately lost their fake relevance and urgency, so even if they were on the list, the next day I largely ignored those. (Also, this being in 2001, when I ran out of stuff to do on the internet (whoah!), I started inventing new stuff for the next day's list, like "what does McDonald's sell in India".)
This blazing fast "have what you want and have it right now"-type mentality with information that the internet has given us sometimes caters more to stupid curiosity than it does to real learning.
I think that the layout of these types of websites makes it hard to prioritize; we just instinctually click on the first interesting thing.
Beef burgers was, of course, unheard of.
A tangential thought: I hate reading stuff on Medium specially because they need to feed me what other people found interesting about the article ("top highlight!") instead of letting me do the job.
Attention ~ ∫ Interestingness dt
Interestingness ~ dBeauty/dt
Beauty ~ iterative compression of the amount of information necessary to motivate phenomenon
Those are basically Schmidhuber's ideas, btw.
So I try to keep things tidy and quiet when I try to focus; no need to misallocate precious limited neural spikes on "which direction are the cars outside going," or "darn, someone has re-arranged all the belongings in my workspace- now my hippocampus has to refill its low-resolution geometric description of the room with high-information-cost memories of new object locations ," or "hmm am I thirsty? maybe I'm thirsty.. oh did I reply to that email yet? hmm am I thirsty? ooh I ought to check HN..." etc.
It's like that recently-popular article that talks about why you shouldn't interrupt programmers, but generalized - you shouldn't "interrupt" any stream of consciousness with contextually-irrelevant noise.
I feel it also has to do with why a spatio-associative memorization scheme is very useful in humans; whether that presents itself via "the night before a big test, I study in the same room where I will take the test" or "I memorized 200 digits of pi by remembering (3, kitchen), (1, living room), (4, garden), (1, living room), ..., and relying upon the imagined path I take throughout the house."
It sounds simple but it's already more than most of us were ready to accept.
I can use "The Internet" whenever I need to, but "Internetting" as a pass-time is severely restricted.
That's very interesting. I didn't realize CoC was that widespread.
I think that the point that all of these tyoe of articles miss is that if everyone is trying to create, you need someone to consume. Otherwise it's a bunch of folks yelling into the wind.
Do you? Or, does it need to be someone other than yourself? I write for its own sake, because I enjoy it. I don't publish it anywhere. I make art, and just hang it on my own walls. I make jewelry and don't sell it, just give it to my family. I make sculptures that just sit in my garden. We create and consume our own work. And it is completely satisfying.
> If you address yourself to an audience, you accept at the outset the basic premises that unite the audience. You put on the audience, repeating cliches familiar to it. But artists don't address themselves to audiences; they create audiences. The artist talks to himself out loud. If what he has to say is significant, others hear & are affected.
I hope you realize how lucky you are to be one of the people who can create for its own sake; if more people were like that, the world would likely be a vastly better place.
Also, Charles was a public official who questionably interpreted existing law to aid the Revolutionary War by jailing British sympathizers. "Lynching" didn't become associated with anti-black vigilante murder until closer to the American Civil War.
He isn't implying that it is a fact.
>As I got closer to my goal — that mythical league on the horizon — I felt the algorithms turn on me. I sensed they knew I had a goal, and they turned that goal into an unobtainable carrot. Was I being paranoid? Maybe. The last day I played, I played for ten hours straight. Play the game slowly, a few minutes a day over months, and the algorithms are insidious. Play the game in a manic burst, and suddenly the algorithms feel laid bare. I spent only $40 over those five months, but those last ten hours were grueling. The closer I got to the goal, the more the algorithm would knock me down, set me up with what appeared to be easy wins only to have me lose. Disheartened, I’d try again, this time beating someone against whom I should have lost. Over and over this continued. It was so perfectly tuned to my most primitive set of chemical desires that it was actually beautiful — a thing of beauty. I could feel it moving beneath the screen. Its tendrils and my neurons moving with an eerie synchronicity. But of course, the lock-step relationship was weighted heavily towards the house; just as victory was once again in sight, I was back to my position ten moves and an hour prior. Where did it end?
I believe these problems are a major problem for the society. There is far more and far easier opportunities to procrastinate than before, and the net result is that the quoted stuff above is what the people do instead of doing useful stuff. When before did you have a combined one-armed bandit and casino inside your pocket, and it was acceptable to regularly take break from your work -- heck, even middle of conversation with other people -- to visit one of those?
And then people talk like developing even more insidious casinos is the future of software industry, the thing where the VCs invest.
Economy should not grow for the sake of the ever larger GDP per capita number. I'm not advocating for planned economy, but it should matter what kind of things, including what kind of entertainment and other luxuries, are being produced.
Surely just control yourself a bit? Isn't it obvious that the whole freemium mobile gaming model is designed to eat your time and money? As the author pointed out, a paid-for game with an actual endpoint is a much better way to satisfy your gaming urges without getting your life robbed from you.
As for checking your phone in bed, if that's such a problem just leave it in another room.
If you're always checking FB on your phone, delete the app. You don't have to delete the account: I stay in touch with lots of people on FB, but I only use it via a browser on a computer. That way I can't check it while crossing the street, but is it really so urgent? I'd rather look where I'm going.
I don't have problem with addiction at all for example. I even practice dropping the stuff that start to get too much into my life - a coffee, game, weed, an attitude, TV, bread, car, whatever really. To me its not that hard, but to others around me it seems hard enough.
The point is, you are a mass of checmicals, it might very well be impossible for you to do so given your particular setup.
The medium was no longer the message, it was just an asshole.
I loled thanks
I look forward to closing my social media accounts in the near future as I've come to the conclusion they add very little value to my life.
- Need to breathe correctly.
- Sugar makes you tired. Avoid sugary products and products with added sugar.
- Avoid stress, anxiety and try to do something about it. Preferably in a natural way. Identify situations that you can control, and the ones that you can't control. Avoid getting anxious over things you cannot control.
There are drinks containing 60g of sugar, or 15 teaspoons of sugar. Combine that with a sugary snack and you will see.
The guy who is hooked on a video games is less intentional. He thinks he ought to be able to will himself into doing other stuff which he thinks he should be doing. He blames the game or phone or whatever for his failure. But what he really doing is avoiding certain other problems. When he is ready he'll face those unmentioned problems and maybe find a new direction.
Also, redshift -b 0.8 -O 3000K
Can we just get one article on here that doesn't passive-aggressively cast a doom and gloom vision of Donald J. Trump's presidency?
Previous click-bait Fri 13. Jan : https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13392292