Sweet Sleep: No Phone Zone


A majority of this sleep series will include suggestions on cultivating good sleep - what to add to your daily ritual. However, I would be remiss not to stress the importance of removing digital media from your wind-down routine.

There is a substantial amount of research about the health implications of not getting enough sleep, and digital media is one of the biggest contributors to lack of sleep. In particular, children and adolescents are at risk of poor health, learning, and safety outcomes if they do not obtain adequate quality sleep.

A quick Google search offers a plethora of tips for limiting digital media in your home. I've even read about a wifi router timer that limits the temptation to go online before bed and protects you from disruptive electromagnetic frequency, which new research shows is more pernicious when you sleep.

I've managed to keep the technology out of my bedtime routine most days for the past couple years and I truly notice a difference; mostly an overall calm around my sleep experience that I haven't enjoyed this much since my early 20's (and before the iPhone). I also wake up a lot less in the middle of the night. 

Some simple tips for promoting a no phone zone include:

  • Charge your phone during the sleeping hours and keep the charger plugged into an outlet in a room outside your bedroom.
  • If you must use an alarm in the morning, purchase an old-school alarm clock or set it on a sports watch. Cheap travel alarms are a great alternative, too.
  • If you live with others make them your accountability partner. If you see each other going down the digital rabbit hole, gently note what you observe.

If embracing the no-phone zone is all new to you, remember to start small and be kind to you. Even one or two nights a week can really make a difference. As with any new practice, briefly note your experience and let awareness fuel your commitment to do things differently the next night.

Sweet dreams,

Special consideration: The posts in this sleep series may be focused on the typical evening sleeper; however special considerations should be made for those who experience shift work, regular traveling, or are new parents. Naps, creating ideal sleep environments, and prioritizing the other areas of wellness will go a long ways in supporting irregular sleep patterns.

{Image courtesy of David Young-Wolff/Getty Images.}