My life became immeasurably better when I stopped keeping my phone by my bed

At home, I slapped in the AAA battery, set the time and wound the alarm hand round to 6am. That was it. My iPhone is more powerful than Apollo 11 and made things worse: how was this going to help? But the difference was immediate. That night I left the phone on my living room sofa, wondering whether I would last the night without coming to get it. I went to bed. I remember nothing of what happened next. I must have fallen asleep too quickly.

Since then, I have slept fine. The phone’s absence is soothing. Despite still feeling stress, I have not yet felt I have to get my phone in the middle of the night and bring the world rushing in to stave off bad thoughts. I have even slept through my triggers for not sleeping, like going to bed less than seven hours before when I have to get up, which used to lead to me lying awake reflecting how I could no longer get seven hours’ sleep.

My weekly swim is no longer a desperate attempt to tire myself out. I read a book in a week after reading 12 in seven months. Now the pillow next to mine is strewn with magazines. I love the serendipity of finding something I want to read within something small someone else has curated. You can’t curate the whole internet.

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