Do You Leave Your Cell Phone on at Night?

A few nights ago, a friend on the east coast woke me up with a text at 11:30 pm. It wasn’t urgent–he just had some fun news to share.

Several weeks before that, a business partner in France texted me at 3:00 am. In the morning I asked him not to text me so late at night, and he said he turns his phone off at night, so he thought I’d just see it in the morning.

As grumpy as I get about these late-night texts, I wonder if he has a point. Do most people turn their phone off (or silent mode) at night? If so, is it socially acceptable to text people even super late at night, assuming that you won’t be disturbing them?

(Sidenote: I don’t ever actually want someone to text me at any time about anything. I much prefer e-mail.)

This chain of thought has led me to wonder why I keep my phone on at night. I tell myself that it’s for emergencies, but there’s such a slim chance of an emergency happening that I need to know about. Nay, I think the real reason is that I’m afraid I’ll forget to switch my phone back on in the morning.

Do you leave your phone on at night, or is it silent during your sleeping hours?

6 thoughts on “Do You Leave Your Cell Phone on at Night?”

  1. I use Do Not Disturb on my iPhone (my old Windows Phone had that feature too years ago, so I expect Android has it too).

    From 11PM – 8AM I don’t get text or other notifications. They queue up until I wake up. I have a whitelist for callers (family members), and have set break-through settings as well. This way they can get me in an emergency as can anyone that is willing to call twice within 3 minutes. If I’m still using my phone the notifications still come through as normal.

    This doesn’t require others to agree with or even know about my policies, and it definitely helps to ensure that I don’t get woken up by the variety of apps that are installed on my phone. Normally with your topics I understand and sympathize with both sides of an issue, but I think in this case there is a clear answer that is correct.

  2. I have everything muted 24/7. If someone messages me during the day, they’ll have to wait until the next time I pull my phone out to check the time. If it’s urgent they can call, where it will vibrate in my pocket.

    But I guess I’m not a company CEO that is constantly being contacted by people. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your system! I might try to implement something like that to avoid the increasing number of spam calls I receive. It’s not constant for me, but I get a lot of samples delivered by FedEx, so I need to be ready when they arrive.

      • I just turn off my notifications for text messages on my phone before I go to sleep. No one really calls at that time, so only text messages need to be muted. Any calls will still come through. (Hardly anyone really calls anymore and not at that time.). When I wake up, I turn notifications back on and see the red badge number with how many messages came in during the night.

  3. I moved to another state a few years ago in order to be available in the event that my mother had medical complications. She had a stroke in 2015 and several smaller ones since, and since my family is just her, my father and myself (my brother dies last year and my 3 year-old isn’t on the emergency call list) I am unable to turn my phone notifications off for any reason.

    Believe me, this is my nightmare scenario.

    I have been woken by drunk friends mis-dialing. I have been woken by friends looking for advice on ridiculous topics while tripping or too stoned to realize they were intruding. Literally last night a woman I have known for 16 years (Ms Yellow) wanted to know if she was out of line because she wanted to go to her friend’s house (Ms Blue) at 0400 because Ms Blue had decided to hook up with a guy she had met over the internet, and Ms Yellow was worried that he was some rando murderer. Ms Blue did not respond to any texts or phone calls after 2200, so now Ms Yellow was in a tizzy and wanted to know what I thought she should do.

    I am amazed at the number of incidents like this that I have dealt with since I stopped shutting off my alerts after 2130, but I would gladly be woken by these ridiculous issues every single night if it meant that I was available for an emergency for my mother that prevented her from having a fatal stroke.

    Sort of a downer, I know, but sometimes it’s good to realize the gift that constant access to another person can actually be. I say this as a someone that wishes everybody would just piss off permanently and leave me to my own devices.


Leave a Reply

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading