Put Your Phone to Bed

An overnight lifestyle change may not be an impossible task, microsteps such as digital detachment can help.

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

This time I am writing about something that I do not do! A few weeks back Thrive Global held their first India Leadership Summit and I spoke on a panel with Vivek Gambhir of Godrej Consumer Products. All the speakers got a surprise gift—a lovely bed to put our mobile phones to sleep at night. It was an exquisitely made double bed with a very comfortable mattress and blanket, and we were told to make sure our mobile phones also got a good rest at night, away from our bedroom.

We need to get our batteries recharged properly at night and so do our mobile phones. Hence these phone beds also have a space to put your charger through so that your phone battery also gets recharged at night. As you may know, Arianna Huffington is a great proponent for sleeping longer at night. 

I used to be someone who thrived on sleeping few hours at night, mainly because there is so much to do in life. Colleagues got used to my 4 am messages. Fiona, my wife, would constantly be worried that I would end up in hospital because I wasn’t sleeping enough. 

One day I found out that if I did not sleep enough at night I would put on weight. That was my aha moment. It wasn’t my bad diet nor my lack of exercise that was leading to my weight gain; it was just my lack of sleep! Hence, I started sleeping longer. Alas, my research had certain flaws. Sleeping longer did not help me lose weight, but I did notice that I put on less weight when I slept longer. 

So, it was back to a better diet (I am now an intermittent faster; having many small meals did not work because I ended with many large meals) and regular exercise… and also sleeping longer at night. And it worked! I lost weight. 

Back to my phone bed. I came back and showed it to my daughter, who thinks I am crazy. I laid it out for the night. And then I forgot to tuck my phone into it before I went to sleep. And I continued to do so every night ever since then, because the habit of reading stuff on my phone at night was too hard to break. But reminders, like the reminder I send to myself as I write this blog, will hopefully get me to finally put my mobile phone to sleep on its own bed, far from mine and both my phone and I will be fully rested in the morning!

Nudges, like Thrive Global’s phone bed, do work and as I write this blog, my iPhone looks longingly at its own bed asking, “Will my stupid owner finally let me get a comfortable rest tonight?”

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- Marcus Aurelius

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