Is ‘Amish Time’ The Life-Changing Habit For You?

October 6, 2016

The question on Quora was, “What tiny daily habit could be life-changing?”

And Matt Sandrini, a marketing consultant from Manchester, UK who also runs a site called, wrote about a 5-second habit that changed his life.

Although over 100 people answered this same question, Sandrini’s answer was especially popular. To date, he’s received well over 10,000 upvotes.

His habit?  He wrote that every night at 9:15 he sets a reminder for what he calls “Amish time.”

What it means is he sets a reminder for himself that it’s time to turn the phone, the laptop, and all screens — off.

He says the habit has had a big impact on his life. He finds he meditates more, journals, and reads before bed every night.

And he reported his deep sleep increased by 20% — which he knows because he uses a Withings activity tracker to track sleep.

All this and he claims it’s now much easier to wake up in the morning.

We asked him why he thinks his answer about a life-changing habit was so popular. He responded that “most existing answers focused on daily actions that involved ‘doing.’ Amish time stood out because it was more about ‘not doing’ and taking a break from a draining behavior.”

When asked if he still practices “Amish Time” Sandrini said yes, and that even though he had a slip this summer, he’s now expanded it to the mornings, meaning he doesn’t turn on his phone until 9AM.

We know that lights before bed are detrimental to sleep. In fact, ditching electronic devices in bed is #5 on our 10 Golden Rules of Sleep. But some people can’t say no to their phones because the entertainment and ability to communicate are just too tempting. So if you are someone who finds it hard to unplug, and you want more time in your day and better sleep at night, perhaps trying out your own “Amish time” reminder — is the way to go.




Susie Felber

Susie is a writer and producer who has worked in nearly every medium. As the daughter of a hard-working M.D., she's had a lifelong interest in health and is proud that she continues to lower her 5k time as she ages.
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