If Your Phone Keeps You Up At Night


Like most of us in this modern age, my phone has kept me up late more nights than I can count.

I put it down to go to sleep only to find it, mysteriously, back in my hands, lighting the room with it’s strange, modern glow.

Of course, it’s terrible for our brains and our capacity to sleep.

The first thing I did was to get an alarm clock that wasn’t my phone. And that helped. But the phone kept finding its way back into my bedroom. And then, somehow, turning on and cycling me through Facebook, email, Huffington Post and you name it.

I would curse it. This modern bane of my existence. This addictive entity. This seductive Don Juan of my pocket. This electric vixen slowly robbing me of my productivity and productive life force.

I joined everyone in helplessly bemoaning it. I grumbled.

I secretly enjoyed every minute of it.

I resented it in the morning.

So, I finally decided a different approach.

I decided to love my phone and care for it.

I decided to proceed as if it were alive, just like myself, and needed sleep too.

And so, I made it a nest to sleep in.

And now, each night, I plug it in, say some good words to it, thanking if for helping me stay connected to the world, finding my way around, finding important information and acknowledging how tiring it must have been. I speak these words out loud and then turn it off and rest it in this bowl given to me by my friend Jesse Hahn, cradled in the old Mackay tartan wool scarf I bought years ago.

And then I go to my room, lit by candle light now, and read a book, meditate, stretch or journal and go to sleep.


About Tad

  • This made me smile, Tad. :) I started turning my phone off at night a long time ago but still struggle with the seduction of turning it on first thing in the morning and scrolling through it. 2017 is a year of new beginnings, right? Maybe I’ll actually get more writing done. Love your newsletters. Happy New Year!

  • Morgyn Danae

    I completely agree. I turn off my phone by 8pm at night and all day Sundays (my day dedicated to rest-unless I have plans). But I especially appreciate that you consciously honor your phone. I need to speak my gratitude for it more consistently. Thank you for yet another insightful and creative perspective. I really love your writings, Tad.

  • aor

    Thank you for reminding me to be grateful for this magnificent device. I think gratitude can begin to change my relationship with my phone from slave to master.

  • Jennifer Murphy

    Such a nice reminder and what a great way to express gratitude after a full day!

  • Karla Gjini

    really love this idea

  • Michael Moore

    I have been in curse mode with my phone for months now. I no longer read in bed, instead, I choose to research various points of interest stumbled across throughout the day, scroll through endless Facebook posts or play spider solitaire – which I keep promising to remove all games from my phone – such a waste of time.

    I will thank my phone for everything that it does help me to achieve each and every day and then create a place for it to rest – giving me time and sanctuary to rest. Perfect! Thank you.

  • Iris P. Weaver

    Love this post and your approach!

    I don’t allow mine to do anything but phone calls and text, so happily don’t have the problem.

  • David

    Love this! Have been leaving my phone in a different room since reading this over a week ago. Been using a small analogue clock with no snooze function instead. It’s so beautifully 80’s. After a couple of nights of freaking out that I couldn’t see what time it was when i woke up as the clock doesn’t have an illuminated face I thought I would need to get a new clock but decided to stick with it. I’ve been having the deepest and longest sleep I’ve had in years.

    Now if I wake up I quickly fall back asleep. Can’t see what time it is as the room is too dark. No phone to pick up and see the time with or to check email or instagram.

    I wake up when my alarm goes off, turn it off and get out of bed. Within a couple of minutes I feel wide awake and ready to begin the day. I haven’t felt this well rested in years.

    Thanks Tad for writing this post. I even find I’m checking my phone much less throughout the day. Freeeeeeedom! :)

  • it’s so good to hear. It’s made such a big difference for me too.

  • I LOVE this Tad. Great way of dealing with realities of today’s tech. Gratitude and boundaries = so sweet! So smart. Thanks for sharing.