I have made a new rule for my electronic devices: I’ve banished them from the bedroom.
I used to have a bad habit of putting my iPhone on the dresser next to my bed. It seemed convenient, but it was negatively impacting my sleep. First, I would stay up later than I wanted, checking my email or Facebook. Second, if I got up in the middle of the night, I was tempted to check my phone again, making it more difficult for me to get back to sleep.
This was a bad habit. What I have been trying to do lately is simple, but effective. I put my iPhone and computer in the living room. Once I plug in my electronics and start my bedtime routine, I’m done for the night. I don’t go back and check them. Also, if I get up in the middle of the night, I make it a rule not to check my phone.
This is an example of a structural change that helped me reach my goal. I wanted to go to sleep earlier, and I didn’t want my sleep to be interrupted. But when my phone was right next to my bed, it was too tempting to check it. The structural change of physically moving the electronics out of the bedroom was a better solution.
Discussion: Is your phone negatively affecting your sleep? What do you think of the strategy of using a structural change to help you reach your goal?