How much do you enjoy sleep? Do you bring your phone with you to your bedroom when it is time to sleep? Have you ever considered the idea that perhaps our phones might be more of a distraction at night than a helpful sleep aid?
I have mulled over these questions at length because I love sleep. After becoming a mom almost ten years ago, I find myself daydreaming about uninterrupted sleep. In fact, my dream vacation is a night or two away by myself at a swanky resort. I would arrive at the resort with my pillow, pajamas, toiletries, and my mind at ease knowing my family is safe and well cared for. My only agenda would be to turn off the world and enjoy uninterrupted, luxurious sleep. That’s how much I adore sleep.
Over the past year, I have changed the way I prioritize my work-life balance. I made a serious commitment to not work late into the night anymore. Very quickly, I noticed how much better I started to feel when I wasn’t burning the candle at both ends. Realizing how important sleep is to my overall sense of well-being (while obvious to many people) was a serious awakening after spending years perpetually sleep deprived. I am protective of my sleep now more than ever. More and more, I am looking for ways (other than a sleep vacation) to improve the quality of a good night’s rest.
It recently dawned on me that my phone, which I was using as my alarm clock, was proving to be a distraction that was getting in the way of my quality of sleep. I never used to bring my phone to bed. In fact, I was blissfully behind the times — I bought my first phone eight years ago! It wasn’t a smart phone either, that came later. Looking back, I realized I was happy and peaceful with my regular alarm clock, its only job was to wake me up at a designated time. My alarm clock didn’t periodically ding, ring, notify me, or tempt me to go down a rabbit hole of distraction.
I am not against having a phone. My phone is a beautiful tool that has made life streamlined in so many ways. Having access to my phone has made my business, which is primarily online, so much easier. But when I look at the big picture and take sleep into consideration, it makes perfect sense that my phone does not belong in my bedroom as I rest and recharge. In order to be fresh to enjoy a new day, it became clear I needed to remove as many controllable distractions from my bedroom as possible.
I like my home and space to be clutter free. I didn’t want to get a plug-in alarm clock that is an eye sore and would take up a lot of space on my nightstand. I found a small, simple battery operated alarm clock made of wood — perfect! My husband now has one on his nightstand too. Since making this change, my quality of sleep has improved tremendously. I find I wind down more easily in the evening because I am not checking any last minute emails, texts or social media posts. I am no longer tempted to check my phone in the middle of the night if I happen to wake up.
I now keep my phone in my office at night. The added bonus is I wake up and take some time to ease into the day, instead of reaching for my phone. My new practice is to wake up and spend the first few minutes thinking about everything I am grateful for. Looking back, I can now laugh at how much I was getting in my own way. Leading a simpler, quiet, restful life is always within our reach. It is ours by design.
If you are considering ways to improve your sleep, I definitely recommend going back to trusted old school methods of waking up, such as: an alarm clock, rooster, sunrise, etc. See what happens when you take a break from your phone — you may be pleasantly surprised.
If you are interested in connecting to who you are on a deeper level, or if you would like to create a self-care and self-love practice — please check out my E-Course, ‘Fall In Love With Your Life, One Week at a Time’. It is a chance to create your own life practice in a way that is meaningful to you — all are welcome.
Originally published at emilymadill.com on March 2, 2017.
Originally published at medium.com