Why You Shouldn’t Use Your iPad Before Bed

I’m my most creative and productive during the evening hours, so I am often on up late into the night on my iPad writing and getting other work done. I also like to lay in bed and watch a movie before I go to sleep.  Lately though I’ve been feeling really tired during the day, even after 8 hours of sleep. So I did some research, and discovered something startling. It was my beloved iPad robbing me of my energy.

So why am I, the iPad Guru, talking to you about when not to use your iPad?

Because good health is the most important thing you can own, and without it we can’t enjoy the things we love.

The type of light emitted by electronic devices such as iPads, phones, computer screens, and laptops is known as blue light. Blue light is also the type of light that the sun radiates (in a much greater amount).  when blue light enters our eyes, receptors in our eyes send an encoded message to our brain. This message tells the brain that it’s day time out and it’s time for us to be awake. When the brain receives the “daytime” signal from the eyes, it stops the production of melatonin (the hormone that causes relaxation and sleep).

Another example of how this cycle works is in the morning when the sun rises. We wake up because the sun shines into our eyes (even through the eyelids) and the eyes relay the message to the brain. Brain says “ok, no more melatonin” and within a few minutes we wake up.blue light

Why does this matter?

Because when we look at screens in the hours before bed, we’re tricking our brain into daytime mode. This is fine during the day when we want to be awake. During the night, however, tricking our brain into thinking it’s light out can cause us to be alert, restless, and awake when we’re trying to sleep.

Even if you are able to fall asleep, without melatonin you won’t be getting the deep, restful kind of sleep that our bodies need and you’ll most likely wake up groggy and tired even if you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep or more.

Proper sleep is one of the most important factors to good health. The research is starting to show that lack of sleep can cause a whole host of problems, from weight gain to depression. As someone who loves technology, I think it’s important that we are responsible for our heath first and foremost.

The best way to counteract this issue is to dim lights in the evening and avoid using electronics about an hour before bed. Instead of surfing the web or watching tv do some stretching, read a book, or listen to music (but turn the screen off). You’ll notice an immediate difference in the quality of your sleep and feel more energy throughout the day.

If you can’t give up your iPad or TV an hour before bed (come one man, have some will power) then there are a couple options that aren’t 100% effective, but are better than nothing.

The first is to purchase a pair of blue light-blocking glasses and wear them at night before bed when you use your electronics. You can pick up a pair for around $10 on Amazon.

You can also download an app, called F.Lux on your iPad, iPhone, and /or laptop that acts a a filter and reduces the amount of blue light radiating from the screen.

Give some of these a try and you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.

 

 

Top 3 Ipad Upgrades

The short answer to this question – it depends. For your average web surfer, iPad has more than enough power and features to make a seamless replacement for a full-sized laptop.  For those who are used to powerful laptops that run CPU intensive programs, an iPad would be a great supplement, but not a replacement. These upgrades can close take your iPad from a casual web surfing device to a powerful computing machine.

For those making, or considering making the switch, here’s a list of things you’ll want to consider investing in:

ipad1.Keyboard

Touch screens are fun. They’re great for web-surfing and playing your favorite games. If you need to type anything lengthy, however, a touch keyboard can’t really hold up it’s own compared to a real keyboard. There are several options for attachable keyboards, however, that can serve as a more than acceptable replacement. Most even double as a protective case, which I highly recommend no matter how careful you think you are. I recommend finding a keyboard with a wide kickstand, such as the Belkin QODE Slim Style Keyboard to make typing easier in any position.

2. Storage

While 128gb Ipad may have plenty of storage for the average user, you may want to consider adding an external storage device if you like to save movies, games, high-definition pics, music, etc. to your hard disk. Pick up a wireless card reader such as the Mediashare Hub by Logear and you’ve got and endless source of extra storage that connects to your iPad wirelessly. My recommendation is to opt for a card reader with a pass through option that allows the reader to stay connected to your wi-fi network and the iPad simultaneously.

3. Ports

Compared to some of the other popular tablets, the iPad is somewhat lacking in the port connectivity department. However, if you take advantage of the Lightning dock connector this disadvantage disappears.  One of my favorite iPad upgrades is the PhotoFast i-Flash Drive HD. This handy device has a USB port on one side and plugs into the lighting dock connector on the other side, making it easy to store data even without a data connection.

The iPad is great for casual internet and multimedia users, but with some key upgrades like the ones above you open up a whole new realm of possibilities and tap into some of iPad’s true potential.

Try one of these? Have something to add to the list? Contact Me and let me know!

Top 5 Business Uses for iPad

There’s a notion out there that iPads are just expensive toys that kids use to surf the internet after they finish their homework. That notion could not be more wrong. When paired with the right apps and a bluetooth keyboard, the iPad has the potential to become an invaluable business tool.

1. Access Your Files Anywhere

Have ever been on your way to a meeting and had to turn around and go back to the office because you forgot some important documents on the office computer? With any of the multiple cloud-hosted data storage solutions, (many are free) available you can synchronize all of your work-related files from your desktop to your iPad seamlessly. Dropbox, SugarSync, and Apple’s iDisk are just a few of the popular cloud-sharing apps

2. Ditch the Sales Brochures

Why lug around a heavy stack of sales brochures when you have a much more efficient, aesthetically pleasing way to show off your businesses products or service in your hands. All you have to do is convert the required promotional materials into image files and they can be viewed using the Photo app. Sort the files into properly organized folders (on the cloud!) and you’ve just created a digital compendium of all of your business’ services accessible from anywhere and helped save the rainforests in the process.

3. Give Presentations

Since we’re on the theme of lightening the load, let’s talk about an alternative to carrying around a bulky laptop when needing to give a presentation. Pick yourself up a VGA adapter and download some of the apps that support it like Apple’s Keynote or Presentation App (free) and your presentation is now infinitely more portable. To take it one step further and make the process cord-free, Apple is coming out with an update that allows presentations on Keynote to be streamed wirelessly to an Apple TV by using AirPlay.

4. Plan Your Day

 I used to be one of the proud guys that thought they didn’t need a daily planner or calendar. When a mentor of mine finally convinced me to give it a try I couldn’t believe how liberated I felt.  It was like my brain’s RAM was maxed out, and when I “downloaded” all the things I had to remember onto a calendar I freed up tons of memory. With one of the several available calendar apps you can use your iPad to manage everything that goes on in your day, both personal and business related.  There are many types of calendaring software that allow you to manage your work and personal schedule for the iPad. These apps can sync your calendar to your phone too, so you’ll never have to worry about forgetting a meeting. I personally recommend and use Google Calendar but the default Calendar App works fine as well.

5. Increase Productivity

Personal productivity is an area that I love to dial in on and really focus on improving.  Everyone’s productivity peak is reached in different ways, and It takes a good bit of experimenting to find out the methods that work best but it’s totally worth it once you hit your stride. iPad has tons of productivity boosting apps, including some that block social media and other distractions when you need to get work done. There are also a ton of free note-taking apps that help you be prepared for whenever a new money-making idea pops into your head.

You may have bought your iPad to use as a web-surfing machine or to watch movies or read books, but it’s got potential to be an invaluable business tool, whether you’re an entrepreneur or a corporate worker. Give some or all of these a try and let me know what you think.