Sleeping with the Enemy

Here is a video I recorded from my bed.

I agree that this is a strange place to film a video. So why am I on my bed? This is because I would like to challenge one of your end of the day habits.

In the past we had very clear boundaries between work time and personal time. Many people worked from nine to five, after that it was personal time.

Then these wonderful tools called mobile phones appeared. They are indeed extremely useful! You can check your emails on them, get all your messages and even have access to all your files. Sounds great doesn’t it?

However, it’s not all positive.

A few years ago, people would tell me that the first thing they were doing when getting into the office was checking their emails. Times have changed and definitely not for the better.

Many people now tell me that the first thing they do when they wake up is to check their emails.

The first thing they do when they wake up…

Most people use their mobile phone as their alarm clock and when it rings in the morning, they take it to switch the alarm off. Once in their hand, it is too tempting and people often find themselves then checking their emails or jumping on social media.

I suggest people do not check emails or social media when they wake up. To be honest I suggest people should not check their emails or social media until mid-morning. Keep your morning for learning, meditating, exercising and quality time with loved ones.


Very simple. Have an iPhone sabbath. My sabbath starts at 8.30pm and finishes at 8am. At 8.30pm I put my mobile phone away, NOT IN MY BEDROOM. I have an old fashion alarm clock to wake me up.

My suggestion would be to: at least disconnect 30 minutes before going to bed. Looking at a screen just before bedtime is not great for your sleep.

Protect the first hour of your day. I protect my early morning for meditating, learning and time with my family.

Two years ago, I received a wonderful email from Emily, one of my clients in Chicago. She wrote to me explaining the enormous impact of not checking emails first thing in the morning had had in her life.  Here are a few snippets from her email.

“Hi, Cyril. I tried to implement the principle that made me the most uncomfortable, Don’t check your email all the time. In fact, don’t do it until later in the morning.

Here is what I did and noticed: I woke up naturally with no alarm at 5:50 AM. I checked the time on my phone, but nothing else, and went to work out. Usually I would get distracted by an email, start responding, then see that 10, 15 minutes had gone by. Then I don’t have the time for the workouts.

 I felt more present with my kids. Felt the day started smoother. My husband remarked that we were all ready so much earlier than normal. I was actually downstairs 20 minutes earlier than usual. I was amazed at how much more present I felt with my kids.”

The conclusion of the email is gold.

“The other thing I’ve realized, it’s hard to admit, is that I have been getting frustrated at my kids in the morning because they are disrupting me from responding to an email. Let that sink in. I’ve been getting frustrated at them for wanting my attention in one of the few hours a day that I can be with them, because I’ve been trying to respond to an email on my phone.

Talk about a wake up call.”

Buy an alarm clock. Don’t sleep with your mobile phone on your bed side table.

Have a great day (and night),


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}