Ask the life coach: how do I stop my phone-in-bed habit and get a decent sleep?

Despite my good intentions I always seem to stay on my phone in bed until it’s late, and I often have trouble getting to sleep. How can I stop my bad sleep habits (and please don’t tell me to break up with my phone!)

Brooke, Brisbane

Well Brooke, do you want the good news or the bad news?

The good news is you can keep your phone, but I think you know what I am going to say: your bedroom is not the place for this relationship. We all know the lure of that one last scroll through our Instagram/Facebook feed, and before you know it an hour has gone past and somehow you are looking at photos of your best friend from grade 6’s 2013 holiday to Bali.

don't make me

So here is my advice: do not allow your phone in the bedroom. Be mindful about your use, and then plug it on charge it in your living room well away from temptation when you head to bed.

‘But I need it for my alarm!’, I hear you cry.

Guess what? There are these amazing contraptions you can buy that actually tell the time AND wake you up in the morning: they are called alarm clocks and you can buy them pretty much everywhere: pretty cool hey!

But in all seriousness, if you have a mind that whirrs with 1001 thoughts at bedtime (hello to every working mum) and playing with your phone takes your mind off that, here are some ideas to calm your mind and set your body up for the best chance for catching some much needed zzzz’s (apart from checking into a 5 star hotel by yourself, which I highly recommend every now and then!)

  • Use a dump diary. It doesn’t sound glamorous, but it can be highly effective to just write out all the ‘stuff’ that is in your brain in order to stop ruminating on it until the wee hours. This is for your eyes only, so get it all out of your head and onto some paper, no matter how petty or silly you might think it is. Then in the morning, you can transpose what’s important on to your daily to do list, and throw the rest of that brain dump in the trash.
  • Make your bedroom a warm and inviting space. Now, I am not talking about candles and flowers and sexy lingerie (although please go for it if you want to). What I am talking about is the basket of laundry on the floor full of clothes that sits there until someone comes scrounging for clean undies and tips them everywhere. Or the bathroom towels that are hanging on the floor. Or the piles of paperwork stacked on your chest of drawers. Even if you just move all this stuff out of the bedroom and into another room, having a clean and inviting space to sleep can help to settle the body and mind.
  • Just Breathe. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly and consciously, slowly and deeply breathe in and out. Add a positive affirmation if you like (e.g. I am deserving of restful sleep) and before you know it the glorious land of Nod awaits (well at least until one of your kids wakes you up at 3.30am yelling for a glass of water, but that’s not my problem!)

Are you a phone addict? Does it affect your sleep?

Written By

Melissa Jeffcott is a certified life coach, writer, and workshop facilitator, who is passionate about helping mum’s to discover what brings them joy and purpose in their lives as their children get older. With a background in child psychology, and as a mum of three rapidly growing children, she understands the challenges associated with looking after the needs of your family in conjunction with making time for your own wants and desires. She also likes sleeping, wine, and Ryan Gosling (not necessarily in that order!).


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