Here's How Making My Bedroom iPhone-Free Changed My Life

Amanda Montell
PHOTO:

Urban Outfitters

When you wake up in the morning, what is the very first thing you do? Personally, I reach for my iPhone. Before rolling over to kiss my boyfriend (or even check to see if he’s alive), I roll the other way to scroll through my device and see what I’ve missed during my hours of unconsciousness. This is also the very last thing I do before falling asleep at night. Once I woke up to my alarm and was literally cradling my phone like a teddy bear. Trust me—I am not proud of this.

Instinctively I know this technology dependence can’t be healthy. I’m also familiar with the research showing that blue light, which is emitted from phone and computer screens, can disrupt the release of melatonin, our bodies’ sleep-regulating chemical. But what’s both comforting and disturbing is that I am hardly in the minority.

“Nearly eight in ten smartphone users reach for their phone within fifteen minutes of waking, and 62% grab their phone immediately upon opening their eyes,” says cognitive neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley, MD, Ph.D. “In the younger set—between the ages of 18 and 24—those figures skyrocket to 89% and 74%, respectively.”

Sadly, I fall squarely into this category. But there’s nothing I hate more than fitting a stereotype—and there’s nothing I love more than sleeping—so last week I decided to quit my bedroom iPhone addiction cold turkey. For five days, I made my boudoir off-limits to cell phones and laptops to see what sort of effects it would have on my well-being. To see how eliminating technology from your bedroom can improve your life, read on.

Want more sleep advice? Don’t miss our little trick for how to fall asleep in less than a minute.

 

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