This week, the papers declared the UK a nation of smartphone addicts – see this story in the Independent. This followed the publication of Deloitte’s annual Mobile Consumer Survey, which found that more than half of us feel that we use our phones too much.

You probably won’t be that surprised by the findings, which include:

  • Over half of us check our phones within fifteen minutes of waking
  • Nearly 80% of us check our phones in the last hour of the day before we go to sleep
  • Over 40% of the respondents in a relationship felt that their partner uses their phone too much!

One of the things that is perhaps most worrying is the impact our phones are having on our sleep. Over a third of people said that they check their phones in the middle of the night. For some, it is just to check the time. But many others got sucked into checking notifications, reading work emails and playing games.

Sleep

Now I am saved a little bit by how un-smart my phone is … no, I mustn’t be too mean. It is a bit smart. I am just not sure that its smartness reaches the level required to be labelled a smartphone. But give me a computer or an iPad and my sleep will definitely suffer! So a little while ago, I began exploring options to keep me off my iPad and computer at night.

Given the number of people that find this a problem, you might be surprised at just how difficult it is to block yourself from your iPad or iPhone when you’re meant to be asleep. But I came across a brilliant solution, which encourages you to stay off your phone at night by tapping into your competitive, playful instinct. Let me introduce you to SleepTown.

Sleeptown: An app to keep you off your iphone at night

SleepTown is a game with a simple premise. Every night you achieve your sleep and waking goals then you get a building for your SleepTown. Gradually, you build up your town, gathering different types of buildings and earning income from them. Then with the coins you earn, you can buy rare buildings that are missing from your town.

If you do stray outside of the SleepTown app when you’re meant to be asleep then disaster strikes and your building collapses! You can bulldozer it but you’ll need coins to do so. And, of course, you can only earn those if you stay off your device when you’re meant to be asleep! Now you might not think this is that big a deal. But I have never been so motivated to stay off my iPad over night!

I am currently the proud owner of eleven buildings in my SleepTown and have managed to bulldozer my collapsed building from day one! I have still got over sixty buildings left to construct and I figure by the end of that then my sleep habits will be pretty good!

If you want to check out SleepTown then you can find it on the App store.

I’ll pop up a post soon with the software I use to keep me off my computer at night. So follow me on Twitter to keep up-to-date with my future posts.

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