How should we enforce a Digital Sunset?


I’m planning to get into the habit of having a digital sunset. This means no laptop and no smartphone after 8PM. I do allow an eReader because it doesn’t emit lights. This will improve my sleep quality and decrease screentime and endless distractions.

I was looking for a way to make sure I can’t use my devices after 8PM and before 8AM because they can be addicting. Turning them off will help but it takes a few seconds to boot, and it happens frequently that I still do this after I shut them down… The bar is too low. It’s kind of hard to make sure this digital sunset is enforced!

My options:

  • A time lock safe which can lock away something for a certain amount of time (can’t get it back until 8AM) unfortunately, this costs 100$ to ship to the Netherlands and it’s not for sale here. But I may still do it.
  • A way to turn off WiFi after 8PM --> This would be an option but my router doesn’t support it. I don’t know how.
  • A way to lock my phone and mac after 8PM --> This would be great but iOS and Mac don’t have this feature.

Any other ideas to make sure how to enforce a digital sunset?

Another option would be to give my laptop and phone to my neighbor every night, but that is a lot of extra effort (for my neighbor) and I don’t want to give them the extra effort.

Any ideas will be welcome!


Just a thought that perhaps a complete screen free week on a backpacking trip in the wilderness could reset your system. You’ll feel better, and then you’ll feel the advantage of locking the devices in a closet- you won’t be tempted. Place the key in a hard to reach place so it will be a hassle to get it at the end of the day.

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How about having a designated drawer for your electronics. On the door of the drawer you can have a list of reasons that you do not want to access you devices ( on a sticky note and have it read: “I want to read more” or “I want to spend more time with friends”). Maybe the “out of sight out of mind” concept will be effective.


@sidnya this could be part of a device control kit… place a removable sticker on the screen during non screen hours- with a reminder. This could be part of our campaign swag…


Why is it so hard to do this? I’m fully aware of the impact of tech on my wellbeing, yet I still struggle with putting it down. I did go on a cruise for 5 days, and the internet was too expensive on the ship, so I detoxed and actually felt my nervous system slow down, and my brain calm and settle. Is anyone promoting the National Day of Unplugging on this site?


You might contact @martijn.catz (organizer of HT Amsterdam meetup group), who is working on a cool HT product related to this (on which I don’t feel free to elaborate yet without his consent). You may PM him or find him on LinkedIn (but he is very busy right now).

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It’s similar to wanting to quit smoking while still having sigarettes in your pocket I guess

I love this idea.

On the WiFi front, you can purchase plug timers that would turn off your router at the electricity supply.

Something like this:


One thing I did is set limits for myself. I can only use my phone at school during lunch and at home when my homework is done. Maybe easing into it this way will help you move forward into a Digital Sunset.


Here is another thing that I have done:
I keep a sticky note on my phone screen like this


It helps me be aware that I am on the phone and gets in the way enough to make me stop. Its also easy to remove when I actually need to use my phone. It actually has reduced my screen time considerably.


I use the Screen Time feature on my iPhone. I shut down most apps at 9 p.m. Then I just give myself a 9 p.m. bedtime. We don’t take devices into bedrooms or bathrooms in our home, so I just retreat to one of those places for a bath or book at 9 p.m. and the screens are far away in another room. It has worked great for me!

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Not a complete solution across all your devices, but if you’re on a Mac you could use something like to create an irreversible daily scheduled block. A nice thing with 1Focus is you can create different block lists (or “whitelists”—e.g. “allow only these apps”) on different schedules. I have one that blocks my access to essentially every app and website on my computer at midnight, and another that blocks access to everything except those tools I use to plan the next day, starting a bit earlier.

I think Cold Turkey Blocker ( does something similar. Either would be less expensive than the time lock safe.


I have one that blocks my access to essentially every app and website on my computer at midnight?

thanks all for your ideas… i was also looking for the same.


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Welcome mark! Glad we could help!

Hi all, I’ve had great success myself getting off the phone. Here are my crazy secrets:

  1. I’ve removed all apps off of my home screen except for the camera.
  2. I only have a few apps on my phone, mainly maps, Dropbox, messages, taxi hailing apps (Grab, Bolt, Lyft…) and a web browser. There are no social networks, no games, no content apps (video, news, etc.), no shopping apps and so on. All that stuff should easily be done in the browser.
  3. I only have notifications on for actual messages and the taxi hailing apps.
  4. I keep it in airplane mode much of the time, with WiFi turned on. Whenever I think I won’t need to be in contact immediately. Think about also putting your phone service on pause if you carrier allows it – some will even allow you to pause for a few days or hours whenever you want, saving money + sanity.

It’s not exactly a sunset, but by having less on the phone it makes it much easier not to still need to be on the phone in the evening.


This is a really great way to reduce usage! I am going to try these tips.

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My CPU usage is reduced from 72% to 54%. Thanks, for this, I have tried this also IP address and got something useful.

Some updates on my side: The digital sunset has become more.

  • Lately I’ve been working on and am using it myself. I don’t have a phone with me the most part of the day, since I work from my laptop, I don’t need to be reachable anyway while working
  • I keep my phone in my livingroom, on a thread. it’s an 'immobile’phone. It makes me much more conscious of whenever I check my phone.