Raise your hand if you’re guilty of scrolling your phone for way too long before bed. Or grabbing it immediately after your eyes open in the morning. That was me for sure!
Technology is a wonderful tool, but there’s a time and place. Right before and after sleep isn’t the best time to catch up on your feeds. Trust me, you didn’t miss much. And whatever you did miss was worth putting the phone down.
I was struggling with this bad habit for a while. I wouldn’t get enough sleep because I had to “check one more thing.” As we all know, one more thing turns into checking every app like 3 times just in case…
I started sleeping with my phone on airplane mode on my bedside table which helped, but it was still within reach. It was too close and my will power wasn’t that strong to avoid it. Something would pop into my head that I needed to check “real quick” or I’d remember a ‘to do’ item that I wanted to add to my list. One thing would lead to another and I’d slip back into my old scrolling ways.
Airplane mode was a step in the right direction, but how could I set myself up for success? Success = completely removing the distraction.
I don’t know why it took me so long to actually do this, but at the beginning of the year I decided to leave my phone out of the bedroom. Scrolling problem solved! Plus I always have a charged phone to start my day!
If you use your phone as an alarm, this does mean you’ll need to get an alarm clock. I know, what are those, right?? Luckily there are a ton of options out there. Easy fix!
Before bed I turn my phone on airplane mode or Do Not Disturb and leave it to charge in the hallway outside our bedroom. I usually grab it in the morning after I’m done getting ready, but sometimes I’ll get it before if I’m expecting something like a text or email that’ll affect my morning. Generally I try to stay off my phone and social media until I’m ready to move on with my day cause otherwise it’s a huge time suck. Unfortunately I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been late to something because I got sucked into the rabbit hole that is my phone. Not proud of it, but it’s the truth. I’m working on it!
There are better ways to use my time. I enjoy reading (a physical book, not an iPad or Kindle) and/or journaling before bed. It helps wind down my mind and prepare me for sleep. My mind is pretty active at night thinking back through the day or anticipating the next, so journaling has been helpful to get those thoughts and ideas out of my head and onto paper. This is also the perfect time to connect with my husband. Our schedules are funky, so many days this is the only time we’ll see each other. Strenghtening my marriage >>> people on the internet.
Instead of grabbing for my phone in the morning, I like to do my daily devotional and dedicate enough time to get ready for my day. I don’t know about you, but my mornings always seem to fly, so I need the distraction free time to make sure I’m taking care of whatever needs to get done and getting out the door.
I sleep better without my phone nearby. Blue light from screens negatively affect sleep patterns. Science says so! Yes, there’s the Night Shift setting on iPhone to help or even the glasses that filter the blue light, but you’re better to eliminate the blue light altogether. I fall asleep (and fall back asleep if I wake up) faster because I’m not tempted. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and if my phone is on the nightstand I would grab for it because I couldn’t fall back asleep. Then the blue light and mental stimulation mean I really can’t fall asleep. My mind has permission to calm down and just focus on sleep.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. Do you struggle in this area too? My challenge to you: incorporate this habit into your routine for a week. Let us know how it goes in the comments below!