Disconnecting before sleep

Since I wake up at 6 AM and I need a good 7-8 hours of sleep to function well, I’m usually in bed by 10 or 11 PM. And I can’t get to sleep without disconnecting from electronic devices like my smartphone and laptop at least an hour before sleeping. Some people claim that 30 minutes is enough but I’ve found that I need an hour to unwind my mind.

Disconnecting for me isn’t simply about not using the device while it’s on. It’s about effectively turning the device off so that I can’t be interrupted by an incoming call, message, or email. This means placing my smartphone in airplane mode by around 9 or 10 PM depending on when I plan to go to sleep.

It can be tempting to work a bit longer especially when I’m in the zone. However the result is always that I have a hard time going to sleep, sometimes tossing and turning in bed until past midnight. And since my biological clock is programmed to wake up around 6 AM, this means that I get less than 6 hours of sleep which makes me grumpy the next day.

Having the discipline to disconnect at least an hour before sleeping is well worth it.

Also published on Medium.