I had read time and time again that bringing your phone to bed was a bad thing. However, getting myself to leave my phone in the other room felt SO hard. I kept making up excuses like, “well I need to see what time it is because we are co-sleeping.” But finally, I bit the bullet and got myself this little clock and made a commitment to try it for a week. Here is what happened :
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1. I realized how much time I was wasting
I was the person who prided myself on “never scrolling” and being completely present with my child, but when night time rolled around, those rules went out the window. The first night I sat there wondering what to do. As if, I had things to do now that I was in bed. At least an hour went by of tossing and turning, but then something really magical happened. I noticed my thoughts became more deliberate and creative than do-do-do. I went from, thinking about all the things I need to do in the morning, to simply being there with my breath and body. It put me way more in touch with my body and mind than I expected.
Without my phone to let me know about an urgent email or social media update, I was able to halt the cycle of worry that generally runs in the background on my personal operating system. Did a client get back to me? Did my audience like my recent IG post? I eventually stopped wondering about these things, which meant that I had the mental real estate for more meaningful and productive thoughts.
As nights have passed now without my phone in the room, I crave my phone less and less. They were right, phones are an addiction.
2. I slept more deeply
This might sound obvious, but yes, when you check your phone every time you wake up during the night, you’re going to get less sleep. For me, this manifested in waking up throughout the night. When I woke up to nurse or settle Grant back down, instead of checking my email or feed, I actually dozed off again. By the end of just one week, I was getting, on average, an additional hour of sleep each evening, and this was including Grant’s sleep regressions. More importantly, my sleep felt more restorative and deep, which every co-sleeping mamma can appreciate.
3. I lost weight
This one might sound like a surprise but it’s absolutely true. During this experiment, I was drinking at least 2 glasses of wine a night, and usually, that puts water weight on me. However, because I was sleeping more soundly, I never put on any water retention. I woke up feel trim. Nothing changed but the fact that I left my phone out of the room. This triggered a positive chain reaction of feeling more connected to my body and mind and therefore I made better food choices, I drank more water, I relaxed more (less cortisol), and lb by lb, I was down 3 whole pounds in a week.
4. Mornings were better phone-free
The first few mornings I woke up, I went straight for my phone. But each time I went to grab it, I was aware of the impulse to begin to scroll through Instagram and my email. The knee-jerk response felt pathetic. After a few mornings, Grant and I went about our normal morning routine but this time actually together. I was present with him. We nursed in silence. He played, laughed, and chatted with more passion. Its as if he knew I was there, listening to him, observing him. Our mornings immediately became sweet. Even if we were up at 5 am together, the silence and zero interruptions set our mornings up to have an intentionally happy day.
5. I was happier
The times I would bring my phone to bed was far from productive. In fact, those times were some of the most detrimental “scrolling hours” I can imagine. During the day, I am always too busy “getting things done,” that I rarely scrolled and peered into other people’s lives. I was in and out of social media, then back to chatting with my clients. But then night time would roll around and I would scroll scroll scroll into these seemingly perfect lives and begin to compare myself. Why didn’t I have that many followers? How come that mom is so ripped after her babies? How are they succeeding so much more than me? By the time I would put my phone down, I had compared myself to dozens of people and came up short every time. This hurt my ego and my intentions for putting good content out there soon became, how many likes, sales, and followers can I get. This is unhealthy.
By giving up my phone at night, I cut out the comparison game. I keep my eyes on my own mat. I am grateful for who I am and how I show up in the world. It’s my uniqueness and vulnerability that makes me Ashley.
I hope you try this experiment and see similar positive changes in your life because of it. Your health deserves it, your body will thank you, and your family will love you for your presence, and your mind will be free from all that BS chatter. You are better.
Let me know if you try out the “No phone in the room experiment!” Much love to you.