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My name’s Mayah and I’m addicted to my iPhone. There, I’ve said it. But that isn’t surprising or alarming, is it? As isn’t everyone addicted to their smartphones?

But it’s not just my iPhone. I have a BlackBerry and an iPad. If I’m not on my iPhone, I’m probably on one of the others. They make me a better businesswoman, more productive and just generally feel in control of things. These are some of the excuses I’ve made that make me think my obsession with my iPhone is perfectly normal.

First thing in the morning, before I’ve even opened my eyes, I’m reaching for my iPhone. I check my calls, voicemails, texts, emails, Twitter and Facebook. By the time I’ve done all that, I’ve probably forgotten whose calls and texts I need to return.

Throughout the day my iPhone is either in my hand or no more than an arm reach away. I’m using it to take and make calls, reply or send text and WhatsApp messages. I’m checking and writing emails, adding items into my diary, checking the time, adding reminder notes, checking Twitter and Facebook, listening to music, buying something, recording my diet, checking various website amongst other things. I then come home, and I’m still doing much of the same until I go to bed.

However, whilst I was on holiday with the girls last month, I didn’t use my phone much at all. It was usually on my bedside and I only checked it a couple of times a day. I couldn’t believe how long the battery lasted when it wasn’t in use – half a week! I loved not being tied to the phone or being contacted.

I love the idea of coming home at the end of the day, closing the door, getting into my PJs and turning my phone off. I usually do all this but the latter. I just can’t bring myself to turning my phone off. I may have decided not to answer work calls anymore after 7pm, but I am still interrupted by them. With the phone being on, it’s much easier to just take one quick call as it would be one less thing to deal with the next day. No out it would involve more work from me. By this time I am so drained, I don’t really want to communicate with anyone, I just don’t want to talk. My friends will testify how rubbish I am at replying – luckily, they don’t take it personally. I even take my phone to bed with me and check it right until I fall asleep. If I can’t fall asleep, I’m usually found on Twitter or going through emails. Then first thing in the morning, it starts all over again. Whilst writing this, I can see how unhealthy this sounds.

I have decided that I need to be less dependent on my iPhone. Starting from next week, I will not be taking my iPhone to bed with me. I can’t do much during the day as I rely on it for my business. A while ago I decided to turn my phone on silent when going to bed. I thought no one was really worth waking me up and expecting a conversation during the night. It can’t be good for either parties. I would get work calls at 3am from clients. I’m not a 24 hour service but I started becoming one because I left my phone on. It was getting to the point when if my phone rang at 3am, I didn’t know whether I needed to be in work mode or consoling a heartbroken friend about why she should call him (one of the reasons I would give her is reminding her what time it is – but it’s okay to call me at that time). I’m just about okay with getting calls from close friends at 3am, goodness knows I have made my fair share of 3am (4am, 5am and even 6am) calls. I’m indebted to them.

Not taking the iPhone to bed with me has really taken some planning. I had to buy an alarm clock as I use my phone as one. When I put the house alarm on when going to bed and have switched off the lights, I use my iPhone as a torch to navigate me to my bedroom. I also fall asleep listening to audiobooks so need a replacement for this. I have to move the charger elsewhere in the house as it’s usually by my bedside. I need to get used to leaving the phone downstairs before coming to bed, even if I am going to bed early to watch TV (or my iPad).

In all honesty (despite writing this blog in bed at 1.45am) I do think it interferes with the quality of sleep and lack of sleep. I could be on my phone for what feels like 10 minutes but an hour would have passed. I’m sure the brightness of it when the lights are out must be keeping the brain alert. I may sleep better and for longer if I know I can’t check my phone.

Starting from 1st November, I will be less contactable and definitely not so during the night. Are you the same with your phone? If so, why not join me in leave your phone out of your bedroom and be in for a better nights sleep.

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