What? Why would I put my phone down and pick up a book instead?
Well, because it’s in your best interest.
Now I’m no doctor. But I am a twenty-something who works in social media and feels obligated to have my phone attached to me at all times. But I realized something — I was having a difficult time falling asleep, and even staying asleep. I was not getting a good night’s rest, nor was I decompressing at all prior to going to bed. I was trying to go from 100 to 0 in a span of a few minutes. Obviously that is not going to work. As you can imagine, my body was not happy about that.
But then I started reading before going to bed. I put my phone on do not disturb, put it out of arms length, picked up a book, and just immersed myself in it. Do you know what happened? I found myself in a much calmer and more peaceful state before bed. Falling asleep much faster, and I stayed asleep the entire night. I felt good. And my eyes didn’t hate me — they needed a break too!
I get it though, not everyone is a reader. But this can work for you too, even if you don’t consider yourself a bookworm. You can make reading in bed even better by trying out these hacks.
How Put Your Phone Down Before Bed… And Start Reading
1. Light a Candle and Get Into Bed
What sounds more relaxing, right? Light a candle in one of your favorite scents (I tend to love anything eucalyptus), turn on your bedside lamp, put your pajamas on, and get under the covers.
You are resting your body and helping it transition from a full day to nighttime calmness. Lighting a candle and enjoying the scent is a great and easy form of self-care, and it can definitely help you get into the relaxing mood
2. Ask Your Friends for Recommendations
I love getting book recommendations from my friends! Not only because I am assured that I won’t be bored while reading (even though reading something boring will likely put you to sleep faster!) but then because I can discuss it with them.
It gives you a little something to look forward to when you finish the book, or to discuss the next day when you wake up. Plus, your friends likely know you, and they will know what genres and books you will like, and those you may not.
3. Don’t Like Books? Pick Up A Magazine
Who says you need to only be reading the highest form of literature before bed? Of course, if that’s what you are interested in reading, please go for it. But it doesn’t have to be. Read anything! Subscribe to a magazine, pick one up from the store, steal one of your friends’ and flip through that before bed. You are still very much relaxing your body and giving your eyes a break from starting at a screen all day.
Many Americans are functionally illiterate, and reading, of any kind, can help improve your mood, concentration, and memory.
4. Go Through Old Diaries
Ah, sweeeeeeet memories, no?! If you kept a diary or a journal as a child, think of that as a book as well, except this book is all about you! You are obviously a different person now than you were when you wrote that. Reading it will take you back in time, remind you of things you may have forgotten, and introduce you again to the person that you once were. Who doesn’t enjoying taking a little trip down memory lane? You’ll likely get a good laugh out of it as well.
5. Have a Book Buddy
Why do this by yourself when you can reel in one of your friends to do it as well? It can be your own form of book club, where you are reading the same book and the same amount of chapters every night, and then discuss it in the morning. This does not just have to be relaxing, it can be fun too (and a bonding experience!).
I cannot stress enough how much better I have started feeling when I take time before going to bed to immerse myself in a book. I get feeling like you need to be glued to your phone, especially if you’re in a profession where you’re essentially on call 24/7. But, you deserve some time to yourself too, even if it’s just 20-30 minutes before going to bed.
Assuming you do not have some big work event or work project or family thing happening, it’s okay for you to put your phone to the side for a bit before bed. If you want to take it even a step further, keep your phone in an entirely different room than you when you sleep, or at least for a bit before bed. This will help in terms of not even feeling the temptation to check it, because let’s be real, once we get into bed, we’re too lazy to be trekking to a different room if we don’t have to!