September 15, 2015

I Gave Myself A “No Phone in the Bedroom” Rule. Here’s What Happened.

A lot of young people have this routine I like to call the “come home, sink into the couch and consume things on your smartphone” habit.

I’m incredibly guilty of this as well. There was a time when I’d get home, and for the brief amount of time I’d have to spend with my guy, I’d scroll through my various feeds instead.

Not only did my habit put a huge strain on our relationship, it also prevented me from getting a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that exposing our eyes to the bright light of phones prevents our brains from releasing melatonin, a hormone that tells our bodies it’s time for bed. Which explains why I was having a hard time falling asleep after cuddling up with my iPhone, pinning, liking and chatting away right before turning out the lights.

So I decided to try a little experiment: I bought an old-school alarm clock and left my phone in the living room before bedtime. Here’s what happened:

1. My room turned into a screenless haven safe from harsh lighting and beeping noises. It was so calming! If I needed something to do before bed, I’d read or write in my journal.

2. You guessed it! I started to sleep better. Turns out, science actually works.

3. My relationship improved. Instead of texting before bed, my partner and I had meaningful conversations, read books to each other and exchanged massages.

4. My phone turned into a landline at home. Leaving the phone out of the bedroom was so easy, I decided to take it a step further and plug it in the second I got home. If I received a call or a text, I could walk over and answer it. I was no longer attached to my phone at home.

Sure, I still get sucked into phone time. And when I’m traveling, I tend to use my phone as an alarm clock. But overall, this system has helped me sleep better and stay more present in my relationships. Give it a try! I promise, your feeds will be there in the morning.

Bonus: Waylon w/ Ayurveda’s John Douillard: Why we can’t Sleep.


Author: Holly Urban

Editor: Evan Yerburgh

Image: Bence Boros/Unsplash

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Xpiex Mar 14, 2016 9:07am

I love this idea. but eaving your phone on the charger when it has a full battery eats the lifespan of the battery. Ideally we'd only charge our phones when they're nearly dead, and until they're full

Nimrod Feb 29, 2016 4:58pm

Eh, no way that can happen to me. I am terrified by the thought of giving away my devices!

Sharon Feb 7, 2016 10:37am

Best thing I ever did. Bought a new mattress, eiderdown and pillow for my “new and improved ” device-free bed. Sleep is heavenly now.

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Holly Urban

Holly Urban is a Midwesterner at heart who lives in San Francisco with her sweet guy, Weston. She loves the outdoors, yoga, cats and Thai food. Currently on the quest to simplify her life and live more mindfully, she is focused on the little things we can all do to do show compassion toward ourselves, others, animals and the earth.