The Power of Powering Off Your Phone for Just an Hour

The Power of Powering Off Your Phone for Just an Hour

I’m a big fan of technology.

I truly believe it has allowed us to do some amazing things and that in many ways, it holds the key to our future.

At the same time, however, like pretty much everything in life I also believe technology has a dark side.

And in my new Audible podcast, Habits for Humanity, I talk a lot about the challenges of staying human in an increasingly inhuman / technological world (see HERE).

At the very least, those of us who use technology on a regular basis need to find ways to take breaks; to get away from these screens and engage more fully in the “real world”.

And this nice Psychology Today article by Jolanta Burke makes a similar argument …


  • Switching off your phone one hour before bed is a simple intervention for enhancing happiness and wellbeing.
  • Switching off your phone for one hour a day also improves your sleep quality, sex life, and gets you out the door faster in the morning.
  • Overusing phones is associated with stress, anxiety, and poor sleep quality, whereas moderate use has health benefits.

We need them, we want them, we can’t live without them. Smartphones have become more than just communication devices. They are an extension of who we are and can be infinitely customised. Our phone brand, design, and wallpaper reflect our personality and interests.

When we are bored, phones provide us with comfort; when we are sad, they hold the key to our happiness; when we are self-conscious, we turn to them to keep us occupied. They are the hub of our daily activities, windows to the world, not to mention a source of our safety with an emergency number available to us at all times.

Over the years, phones have become a reflection of our lives, devices that symbolise our identity, which is why they are so hard to put down.

Smartphones have received a lot of bad press, with many people wondering about their addictive nature. Nomophobia, which describes a fear of being without a phone, is often associated with phone overuse. Constant phone checking, obsessive use of messaging, social networking, news-reading, constantly seeking that elusive bargain often cause anxiety and adverse mental health outcomes.

Overusing the phone results in higher stress levels, lower life satisfaction, increased anxiety, depression, and poorer sleep quality. Despite having a whole night’s sleep, we feel tired in the morning. This is why my student Nicola Hughes and I designed an experiment that we hoped would help people get the best out of their phones and ensure they also have a good night’s sleep…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE