For years, I didn’t think much of my bedtime routine. There were things that I did every night (watching a show with my husband, doing my nightly skin care routine, etc.) but there wasn’t much intention behind it. I went to sleep and woke up at different times each day. And almost nightly, I curled up in bed with every intention of reading my book before promptly scrolling on my phone instead. My sleep wasn’t bad, necessarily, but I had a hunch that it could be better. More than anything, I hated the compulsion of reaching for my phone at night whenever my mind was racing or I was anxious, and feeling like I couldn’t stop scrolling when I knew I should sleep. So, I decided to change things.
For the first time in my life, I decided to be intentional about my nightly routine, and that included changing how I organized and decorated my bedroom. The first step was to stop using my phone in bed (which was, admittedly, a little difficult at first.) Eventually, though, I recognized just how much this one change improved my sleep quality, and it inspired me to make other changes, too. Now, I am fanatical about my sleep quality, and I notice immediately when various factors affect it. Eliminating my phone in bed was just the start - here are five other changes that helped, too.
I Removed Bedside Chargers
I had to physically move it to the other side of the room in order to commit myself to not reaching for it out of habit. At first, this gave me a bit of anxiety. Our phones and social media are one of the easiest ways to numb ourselves to any kind of negative feeling, and knowing I didn’t have that immediate outlet made me anxious.
Eventually, it got easier. Keeping it out of reach and turning on airplane mode was an incredible way to signal to my brain that I was done with social media for the day and it was time to relax. Now, if I charge my phone next to my bed while traveling, I notice the difference in my sleep immediately. An added bonus: I read more than ever before now and always make sure I have my Kindle and physical books in my bedside table.