published on in tech adblocking distractions

Reduce (doom)scrolling with NextDNS

One thing which can make you happier and sleep better is doing less (doom)scrolling in the late evening.

Convincing myself to stop (doom)scrolling late in the evening is hard, I’m tired and the dopamine rushes from seeing something slightly entertaining or interesting has kept me up too late many times.

I’ve tried or investigated quite a few different tools and solutions1 to help me break this bad habit.

Now I finally found something which works for me (at the time of writing this). DNS based “parental control” using This works for me because it’s kind of annoying to change the DNS, and I anyways use NextDNS so it’s not yet another software. Also it also works on the phone, which is the main location of doom scrolling.

If you are not familiar with, it is, in essence it’s a DNS service, with lots of extras. You could call it a cloud version of Pi-Hole. If you don’t know what DNS or Pi-Hole is, this solution is probably not for you. It’s quite technical and might cause some confusing and hard to debug issues.


First sign up on and follow their instructions to enable it. It’s free2.

Then go to Parental Control and set up the recreation time to for example 7:00-22:00 every day and add whatever websites or apps to the list of restricted apps. Then click the small click icon to enable the time limit for that app/site.

nextdns screenshot

And then enjoy twitter stopping working roughly at 22:00.

Beware though, DNS based blocking might cause things to misbehave in unexpected ways. And it might not work right away or it might not work at all because of how DNS is cached.

But it works fine for my purpose, generally twitter and reddit both stop working around 22.

  1. If you are a iPhone user I recommend checking out Screen Time, it might be enough for you. [return]
  2. and their privacy policy for the free version looks good but if you like it I recommend supporting it. It’s cheap and your DNS provider will collect such a lot of information about you it’s important that they have a better way to pay the bills than selling your data.) [return]