Everybody knows that it’s scientifically proven screen time can mess with your sleep.
Yet we all ignore that advice anyway.
I too assumed it was simply the crusade of parents trying to keep their kids from playing games into the wee hours of the morning. But I’ll tell you what — my first phone-free night was incredible.
I hit the hay and didn’t move an inch until my alarm went off at 7 a.m. The last time I slept this well I was probably in diapers.
As the week progressed, so did my sleeping habits. I naturally rose earlier, giving myself time to walk the dog, actually do what I intended to do with my hair and eat breakfast sitting at my table rather than on the go. Is this adulting?
I couldn’t cut screen time back completely. My husband and I still caught up with our favorite shows before bed.
But I discovered just how distracting my phone was to my TV watching when I went without it. I realized how many smaller plotlines I had missed entirely, most likely due to my divided social media and TV watching attention.
Instead of accidentally clicking on a work email that came through at 9 p.m. sending me into a stress spiral, I let my day go.
I didn’t replay frustrating moments or let my doubts and fears of the next day creep into my nighttime routine. I also didn’t wake up and immediately reach for my iPhone either. I left it tucked into the bedside table where I’d left it the night before.
The result? I got ready more efficiently, I didn’t let workday stress or my jam-packed schedule psych me out before I even stepped out the door. And if I’m being honest, I didn’t read any depressing news about the state of the world today. I blissfully went about the start of my day, feeling well rested, content and ready to tackle my workload.
Without my phone in hand, distracting me until I feel asleep, I instead held conversations with my husband.
We recapped our days, planned future trips, laughed and reminisced. I played with my dog and let the wave of relaxation his puppy snuggles bring me.
I’ve always used my phone as a placeholder to fill the dead space when I’m not making conversation or doing something productive. But in doing so, I was actually eliminating the time and space for meaningful conversations or making plans, or even having a moment of peace and quiet.