A few months back I challenged myself to better my sleeping habits. I did some of the common ones you know like exercising more, not eating before going to bed and most importantly, getting the phone out of the room. I started the latter prior to even doing the challenge because I knew something had to change in my routine. Leaving my phone out of my room was something I was originally inspired by Lindsay Scholz. She wrote this post about how her mornings are totally different now thanks to doing one little thing. Removing her phone from the bedroom AND not checking it first thing you wake up. After reading her post I was motivated to give this a go.
This morning routine is a habit that clearly started years ago. I’ve had a cell phone in my room since the 8th grade. I’m 31, so we all started to get phones around that time. We totally all had the Nokia with the changeable cases, duh. The habit is probably over 15 years old and it was time for a switch. My mornings usually looked a little something like this. I’d wake up, roll over without even having both eyes fully open yet, and start scrolling. My eyes weren’t even adjusted yet, and most of the time I was scrolling with one eye (seriously). Before I knew it I’d spend close to 20 minutes scrolling social media aimlessly, checking emails that I honestly can’t even answer yet because it’s 7am and I’m half asleep.
Personally, I have a rule of not answering emails on my phone if I can at all help it. So what on earth was I accomplishing at 7am? Nothing. I was not only wasting my time but also causing myself to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Between viewing social media, checking emails and seeing what was going on in the world it was stressing me out first thing in the morning. Before I even got out of bed I felt the need to do all these things that just didn’t need to be done yet.
The work day for most people begins at 8 or 9am. With my previous day jobs, I was getting ready at 7:30 to get in the car by 8:30 to be at the office by 9. So why on earth am I checking emails at 7, or responding to DM’s? Sure everyone’s job has various needs and expectations. You may be a VP of Marketing and have to make sure there aren’t any fires to put out. Or maybe you work with various time zones and emails do come to you in the middle of the night. But here’s the thing, at 7am, or 5am, whatever time you get up for the workday, you do NOT need to check your phone. And you most definitely do not need to check social media. This daily habit was causing me to wake up with instant dread and a feeling of having to hurry up to get to my computer. Those emails can wait, liking or commenting on an Instagram can wait. And most importantly, posting to the gram can also wait.
After removing my phone from my room I realized so many benefits almost instantly. From falling asleep faster, staying asleep and having a much less stressful start to my day. I enjoy getting up rolling over and petting Pork. Totally clueless as to what’s in my inbox because it doesn’t need to be dealt with until the work day truly begins. I now keep my phone in my office. I don’t check it until I walk Pork, make my coffee and put on the Today show. Then I start my day. My 9-5 may look a lot different than yours, but I encourage you to find a morning routine that keeps the phone away from you that makes sense for so many reasons.
Here’s a few benefits I’ve found from keeping my phone out of the bedroom. Plus other perks that can come from this super simple change you can make in your daily life today.
5 Reasons To Leave Your Phone Out Of The Bedroom
1. Better Sleep
It’s not surprising at all that not keeping a bright phone that’s distracting out of your bedroom will result in better sleep. I was finding myself scrolling while watching TV which caused me to take even longer to get tired and in fact go to bed. I still have the TV in the room, but try to keep it to a minimum. Now, I fall asleep much more quickly allowing for better sleep. I’m not distracted by texts, social media or the bright screen that can wake your brain up.
In addition to falling asleep, I stay asleep better. I was in a habit of waking up in the middle of the night maybe to just roll over and readjust my pillow and I’d end up checking my phone to see what time it was. That bright screen would wake me up and make it that much harder to fall back asleep. Plus, if there was ever a notification on my screen, I would always check it. It started to become part of my routine that I’d be up for 2 hours or so in the middle of the night due to this distraction. Once I removed the phone, I haven’t had a night like this since. I sleep through the night so much better.
2. Less Stressful Mornings
Mornings felt instantly stressful. It felt like I was rolling over and already starting the work day. Whether it’s checking email or social media, it was stimulating my brain and not in a good way. Your job may be very different than mine, but I would sometimes see a fellow blogger share a sale item, or a post that sparked an idea. I’d feel compelled to start working on that immediately. Leaving no time for me in the morning. It caused my mornings to feel rushed and stressed for no real good reason at all.
I was basically starting my day (not my work day, MY day) off with a to-do list that felt overwhelming before I even sat down at my desk. Taking this out of the equation allows me to wake up stress-free, make my coffee and get to work with a more positive mindset to take on the day.
3. Learning I’m Addicted To My Phone
The second the device left my room I realized how addicted I was to it. It took a few days to get out of the habit of rolling over and reaching for the phone. This realization allowed me to have a better relationship with my phone. And in turn, with my friends and family. I learned that I do not NEED my phone. I will survive just fine without it. And I think that says a lot for someone whose business is partially only able to be done on their actual phone and not a computer. I’m now always trying to force myself to put the telephone down with friends and family to be more present.
4. Mindless Scrolling Isn’t Beneficial
When I really looked back at what exactly I was doing every morning on my phone it was truly just this; mindless scrolling. Since I try to not answer emails at 7am or on my phone, and I wasn’t posting anything myself when I first woke up, the only thing I was doing was mindless scrolling. Yes I enjoy seeing great content just like the rest of you. Plus, I like to get my Twitter updates, but it was truly wasteful. I wasn’t getting anything out of it in the grand scheme of things. And to be honest, I was almost always heading to the computer within the hour to start working to check all the same things with more intention anyway.
5. Being Idle & Also More Present Is Where It’s At
We tend to grab our phones the second we get bored to not allow ourselves to be idle. I wrote about that here a bit and I think mornings are a perfect time to do just that, be idle. With your thoughts, with your people (or pets) and be present. Leaving the devices out of the room, can allow your mornings to be more meaningful with loved ones. And the same goes for falling asleep. I’m single so uh, I’m going to be solo with my dog. But it’s safe to say if you have a significant other that you’ll benefit greatly from not being distracted by devices in the bedroom.