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!

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Reduced use of the internet and screens
How Do We Stop Technology Addiction?

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.



@Siddhi 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?