How To Turn Off Internet Access At Night: Best 11 Ways

Personally, I really like having easy access to the internet, but I've also experienced how it can disrupt my sleep patterns. Late-night browsing, notifications, and the glow of screens can make it challenging to unwind and get a restful night's sleep. However, I found that by learning how to turn off internet access at night, I can not only improve my sleep quality but also reduce distractions. In this article, I'll share the best ways to do just that.

Ways on how to turn off internet access at night

We will explore various effective methods to turn off internet access at night. Whether you're seeking a digital detox, improved sleep quality, or reduced distractions, these strategies will help you regain control over your nighttime internet usage.

1. Setting boundaries with your router 

If you're seeking a straightforward way to limit your internet access at night, consider setting boundaries with your router. Most modern routers offer scheduling features that allow you to automatically disconnect specific devices during specific hours. Here's how you can do it:

  • Access your router's settings by typing its IP address into your web browser.
  • Log in with your router's username and password
  • Locate the "Parental Controls" or "Device Scheduling" section.
  • Add the devices you want to disconnect at night.
  • Set the time range during which you want to turn off internet access.

Personally, I've found this method highly effective. However, I recommend using it thoughtfully to avoid inconveniencing other household members who may need internet access during those hours.

2. Use third-party apps

If your router doesn't provide scheduling options, or you're looking for more advanced features, third-party apps and software can be a great solution. Some apps are designed specifically to help you automate turning off internet access at night.

Here are a few popular options:

  • Net Nanny: This parental control app allows you to set schedules for internet access, making it a great choice for families.
  • Circle Home Plus: Circle offers in-depth control over your network, enabling you to set time limits and schedules for specific devices.
  • Freedom: Freedom is a versatile app that not only limits internet access but also helps you stay focused during the day.
Net Nanny App

I really like the convenience of these apps, as they allow you to fine-tune the internet access restrictions, and some even offer features for content filtering and screen time management. However, keep in mind that some of them may come with subscription fees.

3. Sleep mode on devices 

Another approach to help you turn off internet access at night is to leverage the built-in "Sleep Mode" or "Do Not Disturb" settings on your devices. Most smartphones, tablets, and computers have these features, and they can be incredibly useful for reducing distractions.

To enable Sleep Mode on your device:

  • Go to your device's settings or control center.
  • Find the "Sleep Mode" or "Do Not Disturb" option.
  • Set the hours when you want it to activate automatically.

However, I found that relying solely on these settings may not be foolproof, as it's easy to disable them when temptation strikes. Therefore, combining device settings with other methods may be more effective.

4. Use a timer plug

If you prefer a more physical solution, consider using timer plugs. These simple devices can be plugged into your electrical outlets, and you can set them to turn off power to your Wi-Fi router or other electronic devices automatically.

Here's how to use a timer plug:

  • Plug the timer into an electrical outlet.
  • Connect your router or device to the timer plug.
  • Set the time when you want it to turn off and on.

I found that using a timer plug is an easy way to ensure internet access is cut off at specific times. This method is particularly effective if you want a complete shutdown of your Wi-Fi network.

5. Disable notifications 

Late-night notifications can be a major sleep disruptor. To mitigate this issue, disable non-essential notifications on your devices during the night. While this doesn't completely turn off your internet access, it reduces the temptation to check your device when a message or notification arrives.

Here's how to manage notifications on some popular platforms:

  • iOS (iPhone/iPad): Go to Settings > Notifications and customize your notification settings.
  • Android: Navigate to Settings > Apps & notifications > App notifications and customize as needed.
  • Windows: In Settings, go to System > Notifications & actions and adjust your preferences.

I've personally found this method beneficial in reducing the urge to check my phone or other devices late at night.

6. Educate your family

If you live with family or roommates, it's important to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to turning off internet access at night. Discuss the reasons for implementing this change and set clear expectations and boundaries.

Here are some tips for discussing the issue with your household:

  • Explain the benefits of better sleep and reduced distractions.
  • Collaboratively agree on a schedule for internet disconnection.
  • Address any concerns or specific needs, like emergency access.

I really like this approach because it fosters a supportive and cooperative environment, making it easier for everyone to adapt to the new routine.

7. Physical barriers 

Sometimes, a simple physical barrier can help you turn off internet access at night. For instance, you can place your Wi-Fi router or modem in a location that's not easily accessible from your bedroom.

Consider moving your router to:

  • The basement or a storage room.
  • A locked cabinet or drawer.
  • A location where the signal strength is weaker in your bedroom.

By doing this, you can make it less convenient to access the internet late at night, reducing the likelihood of succumbing to digital distractions.

8. Create a bedtime routine 

Establishing a bedtime routine can be a game-changer when it comes to improving sleep quality. Part of this routine can involve gradually disconnecting from the internet in the evening.

Here are some steps you can incorporate into your bedtime routine:

  • Read a book or engage in other calming activities.
  • Set aside your devices at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Dim the lights in your room to signal to your body that it's time to wind down.

However, I found that implementing a bedtime routine requires discipline and consistency. Stick to it, and over time, it will become a natural part of your evening.

9. Consider using smart plugs

Smart plugs provide a convenient way to remotely control power to your electronic devices. You can set schedules and turn devices on and off through a smartphone app or voice command.

Here's how you can use smart plugs:

  • Plug the smart plug into your electrical outlet.
  • Connect your device to the smart plug.
  • Use the smart plug's app or voice assistant to set schedules

I've personally found that smart plugs are versatile and offer more control over your devices, even when you're not at home.

10. Install parental control software 

If you're a parent looking to manage your child's internet usage, parental control software can be an effective solution. These programs allow you to set schedules for internet access, block inappropriate content, and monitor your child's online activity.

Some popular parental control software options include:

  • Qustodio: Qustodio offers a comprehensive set of tools for managing your child's online experience.
  • Norton Family: This software provides web filtering, time supervision, and location tracking.
  • Bark: Bark focuses on monitoring your child's social media activity for potential issues.

While parental control software is primarily designed for families, it can also be used by individuals who want to restrict their internet access.

11. Disabling internet access with a firewall

Did you know that you can utilize a firewall to effectively disable internet access? Firewalls are primarily designed to block incoming network connections, but they also possess the capability to restrict outgoing connections, allowing you to prevent your devices from accessing the internet entirely.

To implement this, you will need to configure a firewall on each device you wish to restrict from internet access. This can usually be achieved through the settings available on most routers and operating systems. Once the firewall is in place, you can establish rules to either block all outbound connections or select specific ones.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Configuring a Firewall: Access your device's settings, which may include routers or operating systems, to set up and enable a firewall.
  • Rule Customization: With the firewall enabled, you can define rules that block all outgoing connections or choose to restrict specific ones.
  • Customized Restrictions: You have the flexibility to block all network traffic except for that originating from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or target particular websites and online services.
  • Security Implications: While the security risks of using a firewall to disable internet access are relatively low, it's prudent to consult with your ISP or seek guidance from an IT professional before making significant changes.

Utilizing a firewall for this purpose offers you fine-grained control over your devices' internet access, enabling you to tailor your restrictions according to your specific needs and preferences.

Dangers of internet usage at night

While the internet offers a world of information and entertainment, it can also present significant dangers, particularly when used at night. Let's delve into some of the risks associated with nighttime internet access:

1. EMF radiation exposure

Electronic devices such as computers, tablets, and phones emit electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation. Though concrete evidence regarding its long-term health effects is lacking, some experts suggest potential harm. EMF exposure can lead to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and anxiety. Radio waves, microwaves, and X-rays are all forms of EMF radiation.

2. Blue light exposure

Blue light, emitted by screens, is linked to various health issues, including eye strain, dry eyes, and insomnia. Exposure to blue light during the night disrupts our natural sleep cycle by suppressing the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Exposure to blue light during the night disrupts our natural sleep cycle by suppressing the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. To improve sleep quality, it's advisable to abstain from electronic device use at least an hour before bedtime.

3. Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a concerning issue, particularly among young individuals. Monitoring and controlling online activities, especially during nighttime hours, can be challenging. Parental control apps offer assistance by enabling parents to oversee their child's online behavior and block inappropriate content.

4. Addiction and overstimulation

The internet is an endless source of information, and constant absorption of new data can lead to overstimulation. This overstimulation can make it difficult to unwind and fall asleep, resulting in restless nights. Internet addiction can significantly impact physical and mental health.

5. Energy consumption

Leaving electronic devices plugged in and operational throughout the night consumes a considerable amount of energy, leading to both environmental consequences and increased electricity bills. Unplugging devices when not in use, similar to disconnecting a cell phone charger, is a sustainable and cost-effective practice.

Navigating the internet's nighttime perils requires a balance between its benefits and the potential risks it poses to our well-being and environment.


Finding ways on how to turn off internet access at night can greatly benefit your sleep quality and overall well-being. Personally, I've experienced the positive impact of implementing these strategies. Whether you choose to set router boundaries, use third-party apps, or create a bedtime routine, taking control of your digital habits can lead to a more peaceful and restful night. So, say goodbye to late-night scrolling and hello to sweet dreams!

About the Author Peter K.

Peter K. is an experienced digital marketer with a decade of expertise in driving business growth through innovative strategies. His data-driven approach and deep understanding of SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing have propelled brands to new heights. With a client-centric mindset, Peter builds strong relationships and aligns strategies with business goals. A sought-after thought leader and speaker, his insights have helped professionals navigate the digital landscape. Trust Peter to elevate your brand and achieve success in the digital era.

Peter K.

April 4, 2024