What to Do Before Bed Instead of Scrolling on Your Phone

A book rests open on a bedside table next to a cup of herbal tea. An old-fashioned alarm clock stands nearby. The tranquil scene is softly lit.


What to do before bed instead of endlessly scrolling on your phone? We’ve all been there - stuck in the digital whirlpool, the minutes ticking by into the wee hours. But did you know this habit could be causing more harm than good, particularly to your sleep? In this blog post, we’ll unravel the effects of phone use before bed and present some delightful alternatives that can promote better sleep and improve your overall well-being.

The Trouble with Screens at Bedtime

Our phones are like mini universes, filled with entertainment, information, and social connections, making them incredibly hard to put down. However, using your phone before bed comes with a set of consequences that could be detrimental to your sleep and overall health.

Firstly, the blue light emitted by phone screens can mess with your body’s melatonin production, the hormone that regulates sleep. This light convinces your brain it’s still daytime, making it increasingly difficult to fall asleep and disrupting your sleep cycle.

Secondly, the content we consume on our phones can keep our minds active and alert when we should be winding down. Whether it’s an adrenaline-pumping movie, a heated social media discussion, or the endless barrage of work emails, these can lead to heightened stress levels and anxiety, making it challenging to relax and fall asleep.

The Benefits of a Phone-Free Bedtime Routine

So, what can you do before bed instead of staring at your phone? A phone-free bedtime routine can significantly enhance the quality of your sleep. With reduced blue light exposure and fewer mental stimuli, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Sleeping better has a multitude of health benefits. It can boost your immune system, improve your mood, enhance your productivity, and even lower your risk for serious health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Beyond the physical benefits, taking a screen break can also improve your mental health. It’s an opportunity to disconnect from the constant influx of information and communication and focus on self-care.

10 Things to Do Before Bed Instead of Looking at Your Phone

If you’re wondering what to do before bed instead of scrolling on your phone, here are ten engaging alternatives:

  1. Reading: Diving into a good book can help your mind relax and prepare for sleep. Just ensure it’s a physical book or an e-reader that doesn’t emit blue light.

  2. Journaling: Journaling can be a therapeutic way to wind down and reflect on your day. It’s a great tool for clearing your mind, managing stress, and even improving your creative thinking.

  3. Drawing or Coloring: These activities can be incredibly soothing and act as a form of meditation. They help you relax and focus your mind on something tangible, diverting your thoughts away from worries or tasks.

  4. Meditation or Deep Breathing: These techniques can help you achieve a state of calm, reducing stress and promoting better sleep. Apps like Headspace and Calm offer guided sessions that are perfect for beginners.

  5. Light Stretching or Yoga: Gentle physical activity can help you alleviate muscle tension and achieve a state of relaxation. Try some simple yoga poses or stretches before bed to help your body wind down.

  6. Listening to Calming Music or White Noise: Creating a tranquil environment with calming music or white noise can help signal your brain that it’s time to sleep. You could also try listening to an audiobook or a sleep-focused podcast.

  7. Planning Your Next Day: Jotting down a to-do list for the next day can help you feel more organized and lessen anxiety about forgetting important tasks. This simple act can allow your mind to relax, knowing you’re prepared for the next day.

  8. Take a Warm Bath or Shower: The warmth can be relaxing and signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.

  9. Drinking Herbal Tea: Herbal teas like chamomile, lavender, or passionflower are known for their sleep-promoting properties. A warm, caffeine-free drink can be a comforting addition to your bedtime routine.

  10. Gratitude Practice: Reflecting on what you’re grateful for each day can boost your mood and help you end your day on a positive note. It’s a simple practice that can have a powerful impact on your outlook and mental well-being.

Each of these activities offers a chance to unwind and transition to a restful state, ready for a good night’s sleep.

How to Successfully Transition Away from Using Your Phone Before Bed

Transitioning away from using your phone before bed can be a challenge, but with a few strategies, it can become easier.

  • Set Specific “No Phone” Times: Choose a time each night when you will put away your phone and start your bedtime routine. Consistency is key here.

  • Use an Old-Fashioned Alarm Clock: If your phone is your alarm, the temptation to check messages or browse the internet becomes stronger. Using a standalone alarm clock can remove this temptation.

  • Keep Your Phone Out of the Bedroom: If possible, charge your phone in another room overnight. This eliminates the temptation to check it if you wake up during the night.

  • Use a bedtime guard / reminder app: Use a bedtime reminder app, such as Bedtime Police, to limit screen time before bedtime.

  • Be Patient and Consistent: Changing habits takes time. Don’t be discouraged if you slip up occasionally. Maintain consistency, and gradually it will become easier.

The Impact of a Good Night’s Sleep

By figuring out what to do before bed instead of being on your phone, and implementing these changes, you’ll start noticing improvements in your daily life. You’ll have more energy, your mood will improve, and your productivity will soar. You’ll likely find it easier to concentrate, and your memory may even enhance. And who knows – you might even cut down on that caffeine dependence!

Prioritizing a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being. It’s a small change that can make a big difference.


We’ve covered a lot in this post, from explaining why using your phone before bed can disrupt your sleep, to offering practical alternatives and tips for breaking the habit. We hope this blog post has given you some inspiration on what to do before bed instead of looking at your phone, and encouraged you to start your journey towards better sleep and healthier living.

Remember, making changes takes time and patience, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Start small, perhaps by replacing just a few minutes of screen time with one of the suggested activities, and gradually increase this over time. Before you know it, you’ll be eagerly looking forward to your new, phone-free bedtime routine.

We believe in you! Here’s to better sleep and happier mornings.

Please note that if you're experiencing chronic sleep issues, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional to discuss potential underlying health conditions and receive personalized treatment recommendations. The tips provided in this article are intended to be for informational purposes and are not intended to replace medical advice.

If you're looking for additional support in establishing healthy bedtime routines, consider signing up for the Bedtime Police waiting list.

Bedtime Police is an app designed to help you create a personalized bedtime routine and limit access to distractions before bed, ensuring a more restful and restorative sleep.

Join the waiting list and stay up-to-date on our upcoming launch!