According to research detailed in the Telegraph, starting at a backlit device, like a phone or iPad, for two hours before sleeping can drop your melatonin levels by 22%, which can affect your sleep. So lesson one: put down the gadgets before bed if you want a good night’s sleep.
The interesting part of this article for me though is the bit about Volvo stopping pushing emails to their staff out of hours:
At the end of last year car company Volkswagen agreed to turn off email to workers with Blackberry devices, in a bid to help with their employees’ work-life balance.
The business agreed to only push emails to German staff 30 minutes before they are due to start work and stop them 30 minutes after they are due to finish work.
This is a feature I’ve long wanted for Mail, Apple’s email handling app. You can only set it to check for new emails at timed intervals, ie every 5 minutes, 15 minutes, once an hour, etc. What it doesn’t let you do is vary this behaviour throughout the day or week. So during the working day between say 8.30 and 6.30, I’d like it to push emails directly to me. After 6.30, by which time I’m generally off duty, I’d like it to stop pushing emails, I can check in when I want to. Clients know that if it’s really urgent they’re better off texting me. At weekends, I don’t want it pushing emails to me at all. My alarm clock manages it – I can set it to only wake me up at 6.50 on weekdays, and not go off at weekends at all. So why can’t I do this with email?
I’d like to see in a revamped Mail programme the ability to timetable throughout the week how often you get emails pushed to your phone and laptop so I can take a break from work emails popping up in the middle of dinner. And it might help me keep away from the screen before going to bed!