Ditch the phone before bed is worth it for better sleep.
These days of 24/7 availability, it’s not always easy to stay off our phones. But most of us understand that quality sleep is essential and that being active on our phones before bed can impact the quantity and quality of our ZZZs.
In this article, I’ll share ten simple ways that you can ditch your phone before bed every night and sleep better!
1. Make a tech-free zone.
The first step to ditching your phone before bed is to create a no-tech zone. This could be anywhere in your home, but it must be a place where you can focus on relaxing and de-stressing without distractions from technology.
It’s also essential to give yourself an incentive for going there, like taking a bath or reading an actual book with paper pages that won’t light up the room at night when you turn off the lights.
Place all of your devices in this spot and set the alarm so that you don’t get too distracted by them while trying to relax.
2. Limit the “last look” to once.
One of the worst habits of many people is that they check their phone before bed, during the middle of the night and when they wake up.
This not only sends you into a spiral of stress but also triggers your brain to be awake in bed. If you’re going through this cycle every night, try to limit how often you look at your phone before bed by setting the alarm so that it’s easier to stick with one last look before turning off all lights and heading off to sleep.
3. Mute the notifications.
You don’t need to be constantly distracted by your phone’s constant pings, dings, and chimes.
If you’re worried about missing out on a critical message or call, turn on aeroplane mode so you won’t receive any alerts.
Or if you simply can’t ditch your phone entirely before bedtime, consider using a separate device for alerts—like an old flip phone or tablet—that will let them pass by without disrupting your sleep.
4. Use an alarm clock.
This seems like a no-brainer, but if you’re like me and have grown accustomed to relying on your phone’s snooze button as a backup when you need a few extra minutes of sleep, it can be hard to make the transition from digital to analogue.
As long as you set the clock for about half an hour before you actually want to get up, you’ll train your body to wake up naturally right around that time without the need for a snooze button.
The benefit of this is that it will encourage your body to fall asleep at its natural time, usually before you go to bed.
It’s important to consider what time—and therefore what time zone—this should be in. If you’re travelling or have a lifestyle where your sleep schedule can vary significantly depending on the day, it might be best to set the clock for when you’d ideally like to wake up every morning.
This will help your body start learning when it’s going to sleep so that it can begin preparing for that point in advance. It also prevents oversleeping since you won’t have any outside factors telling you when it’s okay to wake up.
5. Silently charge your phone in another room (or in aeroplane mode).
The light from your screen can be an energy drain for our brains, so if you’re going to charge your phone, do it in another room.
Use aeroplane mode to charge your phone. If you must charge it in the same room as you sleep, use aeroplane mode so that the device doesn’t emit any signals or electromagnetic waves while plugged in and charging.
Put the device far away from your bed—preferably across the room! No matter how often I hear this tip (and I’ve heard it a lot), I still forget to implement it before drifting off at night—but when I do remember, my brain seems clearer, and my sleep more restful than usual afterwards.
6. Go old school – read a book or magazine!
You might be tempted to use your phone as a booklight or have already downloaded an app that turns your screen into one. But if you want to read the words in front of you and let them sink into your brain, ditch the phone and pick up a physical book.
This is great because it helps to wind down before bedtime and will help you avoid the blue light that comes from screen time.
7. Don’t sleep with your mobile phone under your pillow or near your bed.
Even being close to your bed can hurt your sleep!
If you’re a light sleeper and find yourself checking the time at night, remove the temptation by not keeping it within reach.
Don’t use it as an alarm clock. If you’re using an app on your phone as an alarm, you may need to change it up and set another device as a backup in case something happens to the battery life during those crucial hours before work or school starts up again tomorrow morning. That way, there won’t be any temptation for distractions while trying to get ready quickly!
8. Journal about your day instead of social media stalking.
If you wake up at night and need something to do, try writing in a journal about anything on your mind.
Journaling is a fantastic way to get your thoughts out of your head and onto a notebook or paper. It can help you relax and fall back asleep, especially if you keep it short or don’t overthink your writing (if that works better for you). If you don’t have a journal, write on paper or doodle until your eyes are heavy again.
Don’t worry about spelling or grammar—those are the last things on your mind when you’re half-asleep, anyway.
Just write whatever comes to mind. If you’re having trouble thinking of something to say, remember what you did that day.
- Did you have any unexpected run-ins with friends or family? What did they say?
- Did you eat anything unusual?
- Who were you with?
- What was the weather like?
- How did it feel to be outside?
- Was there anything that made you angry or happy that day?
9. Take a bath or meditate.
Being mindful of your body’s needs is a great way to start disconnecting from a device. It also helps you wind down for sleep by engaging other senses and relaxing as much as possible before sleep.
10. Try some deep breathing exercises.
Deep breathing helps relieve stress and relax the body while sharpening your focus and attention. Try it first thing in the morning, too—it’ll help clear your mind and energize you for the day ahead.
Ditch your phone before bed is worth it for better sleep and a healthier, calmer you. If you’ve been stuck in a frustrating cycle of exhaustion, these simple tips and tricks will help. Give them a try tonight—you’ll be surprised by how much they can improve your quality of life!
Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-using-phone-in-bed-9832081/
Photo by Miriam Alonso: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-woman-snoozing-alarm-on-smartphone-7622520/
Photo by Samson Katt from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-ethnic-woman-with-smartphone-embracing-dog-on-bed-5256079/