When I started tracking how much I use my phone, I quickly realized that half of my phone use for the day was either right before I fell asleep or right after I woke up. My iPhone had replaced my usual nightly routine of reading a book with scrolling through Twitter and Facebook. I was no longer drifting off to sleep enthralled in a novel; I was passing out after I had finally caught up with my ever-changing Facebook feed.
The data from my app Moment shows a similar phenomenon for most people. About 60 percent of people have a big chunk of phone use right before bed and right after waking up.
My solution was simple: I declared my bedroom an iPhone-free zone. No more staring at a bright screen right before going to sleep. My iPhone wasn't even allowed to pass through my bedroom door.
Honestly, it took me three months to break this bad habit, and I'm still not perfect on weekends. Scrolling through my streams was a fun and addictive way to wake up, but stopping that cut my phone use in half. I went from an hour and a half on my phone each day to 45 minutes.
My iPhone screen is no longer part of my morning routine. I wake up, then immediately get out of bed to take my dogs for a walk. It gives me time for my brain and body to wake up before throwing myself into the never-ending river of tweets and updates.
No more drowsy-eyed Twitter sessions while the sun brightens my bedroom.
I still use my iPhone as my alarm, but I keep it charging right outside of my bedroom. As another benefit, I physically have to get out of bed to turn off my alarm and I'm not tempted to just roll over and succumb to the sweet siren song of my glowing smartphone screen.
If you've ever fallen into your smartphone trap before even getting out of bed, try giving your phone some physical distance from your bed.