If you’re counting too many sheep every night, your smartphone might be the culprit.
A new study confirms what scientist already suspected: increased smartphone screen time is connected to poor sleep. The 653 participants downloaded an app that measured the amount of time the smartphone screen was on for a month. The participants were also surveyed to collect demographic data, sleep habits, and medical information. The median smartphone use in a month among the participants was 38.4 hours (more than a full day!) and each phone’s screen was on about 3.7 minutes per hour. Demographically, younger adults were more likely to spend more time on their phones. Higher than average smartphone use was associated with less sleep and worse sleep.
Smartphone use before bed was even more detrimental to a good night’s sleep. The participants who spent more time on their phones before bed needed more time to fall asleep, had lower sleep efficiency (they spent a lower percentage of time in bed actually asleep), and got lower quality sleep. You can read the full study by clicking here.
While there is a possibility that effect-cause may play a role in the study’s findings (i.e. people who have a harder time falling asleep are more likely to scroll through Facebook at night), scientists have found that light in the blue spectrum, like the light produced by screens, suppresses the production of melatonin in the brain, which is the chemical that helps us fall asleep. So, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine that increased screen time, especially right before bed, would lead to less sleep and worse sleep.
The study’s participants were all adults, but there is no reason to believe that the study’s results would fail to apply to children and teens as well. Clearly, setting a schedule and a bedtime for internet use is not just good parenting, it’s important to overall health!
Of course, getting everyone offline at a decent hour is much easier said than done. Clean Router can put your internet to bed as easily as setting an alarm. Learn more about the ultimate internet safety tool for families by clicking here!
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