In praise of tech-free sleep

I recently bought a analog alarm clock in a desperate attempt to fix sleep schedule. “Did it wake you up?” I asked my husband, innocently. “It woke our neighbors up,” he said. I was happy it worked. I no longer have an excuse to bring my phone to bed.

Life is full of excuses. Full of buts. We can spend a lifetime on “I would… but…” I would totally leave my phone in the other room but I need it for alarm clock. I would totally quit social media but… Never realizing it could be as simple clicking a button on Amazon, or a commitment to reality.

But, I digress.


Sleep is important for our well-being, and our electronic devices are wrecking havoc on our sleep health. There is a whole .org dedicated to the topic, so I won’t bore you, or myself, with details here.

But.

For years, I made an excuse for why I kept my phone tucked under my pillow when I went to sleep. I needed it for alarm clock. There was a certain truth in that statement. I have used analog alarm clocks before, and the smartphone alarm works the best; most reliable, easy to set, including multiple alarms, and I don’t need an additional gadget.

But, the cost was too high. Despite having a dump smartphone, it was still just as tempting to be on my phone playing Sudoku, or reading an e-magazine on my library app. The blue light doesn’t care if I am not scrolling on social media, it disrupted my sleep all the same.

There is also something to be said about the quality of sleep one gets when falling asleep without screens. I fondly remembered, and missed, the days when I was disciplined enough to put my phone away before bed. I would read a book or simply let my thoughts lull me to sleep. I slept very well, and woke up in blissful haze, feeling rested and relaxed. I didn’t wake up bombarded with the digital noise before my poor brain had a moment to adjust to reality.


The bed is for two things only. Technology is not one of them.

I am currently working on making tech-free sleep my reality. I have learned it is better to keep such changes simple. The phone stays wherever I last left it, I don’t have a dedicated space for it. I make sure my alarm clock is ON, ready to wake the neighbors up. I keep a book tucked under my pillow, in case I feel too restless to fall asleep. An easy read, a novel, works better. The trick to falling asleep as soon as your head touches the pillow is total physical exhaustion during the day. The days I work out, or go on long bike rides, I wake up not remembering how I fell asleep, it is the best feeling.

Life gets in the way sometimes, but I am happy with the changes. If I really want to be online, I keep it outside the bedroom, no matter how late. The bedroom is for two things only. I adapt.

Until next time,

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