Bedside Manners: Reasons for Powering Off Your Phone Every Night

Bedside Manners: Reasons for Powering Off Your Phone Every Night

Range Govindan
Feb 3, 2012

While some may argue they need to be reachable at all hours of the day, the reality is only a tiny minority require it. No, it's more likely you'd benefit by leaving your phone turned completely powered off as soon as you've changed into PJs and brushed your teeth (and not just on standby mode near the bed), since there are quite a few reasons your smartphone might be the root of many of your health problems...

Some would argue they need their smartphone to wake up in the morning, especially if you're sharing a bed and use the vibrate mode, so as not to disturb your partner. But sometimes, the presence of the smartphone near the bed can ruin a good night's rest, and in turn, your health. In our book, there are only two things one should be doing in bed, and in neither case does one want to be interrupted. Here are the major reasons why keeping your phone on during the night is just inviting a poor night's rest:

1. Text Messages: The truth is many cell phone users aren't using their device to even talk anymore. Texting has become a more common mode of communication, and it's strangely more acceptable to late night text than call. We've received text messages late at night from colleagues and spammers at hours of the night when others wouldn't dare think of calling, and perhaps out of instinct/reflex, we jump awake to check, only to discover 99 out of 100 times, it was a text message that could have waited till the morning.

2. Unwelcome Calls: Text messaging popularity aside, people do still call at uninvited hours: getting drunk dialed by your ex or receiving a call from a co-worker who wants you to cover for him, late night calls can be the bringer of unwanted news. And once you pick up that phone and start talking for more than a sleepy headed mumble, it can be difficult to fall back sleep. Let voicemail pick it up with your phone off.

3. Unnecessary Push Notifications: Unless you're a news reporter following election results or awaiting a special email/tweet/Facebook update from abroad while traveling, there's hardly a reason you need push notification on while sleeping. Friends may not even be aware they're disrupting your quiet time when push notification is on, so keep it off after a certain hour.

4. The Electronic Leash: Keeping your cell phone near the bed at night can be much like placing a plate of cookies nearby while on a diet: you're going to keep looking over. We call this invisible force the Electronic Leash, and even the strongest willed of us can feel its pull. If you can't get through the day without glancing at your screen at least once every 15 minutes, a noticeably common reflex, it's unlikely you'll be able to ignore a flashing screen or notification tone.

Other posts about a healthier digital lifestyle:
Disable Push Notifications to GTD
How to Avoid Hitting the Snooze Button in the Mornings
10 Ways to Improve Efficiency When Working From Home
Letting Go of Your Electronic Leashes

(Images: Gregory Han; Flickr member Bryan Gosline licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member Alan Levine licensed for use under Creative Commons and Flickr member Suhajdab licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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