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Too many of you sleep with your phone, and it’s bad for your health

If you're not sleeping soundly, your phone may be the reason why.

ANDROID AUTHORITY – According to our recent poll, more than half of you sleep with your phone in bed with you at least some of the time. Of those who responded “No,” some still cited that they leave their phone on a nightstand nearby or beside the bed.

Well, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but neither case is good for your health. Whether you are an adult or an adolescent, there’s plenty of research to support not having your phone anywhere near your bed.

Now, I know I’m not your mom. I can’t tell you what to do with your life, nor would I want to. But I can bring some peer-reviewed research to your attention which you will then have to consider and decide what to do with.

If you are experiencing difficulties falling asleep, have insomnia, or can’t stay awake during the day, solid data suggests your phone may be the reason why.

For example, a systemic review of 20 studies demonstrated strong, consistent evidence of an association between bedtime access to or use of electronic devices and reduced sleep quantity and quality, and increased daytime sleepiness.

“These results occurred even if the participants didn’t use their phones in bed.”

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That means if your phone is within arm’s reach of your bed, you are more likely to sleep less deeply and for a shorter amount of time. Ultimately, this impacts your cognitive performance during the day.

To be clear, these results occurred even if the participants didn’t use their phones in bed. The mere presence of a phone in the bedroom increased the odds of detrimental sleep outcomes.

Sleep is vital to our mental and physical health and especially to children’s biopsychosocial development. Because portable mobile and media devices have become a ubiquitous part of our waking lives, the impact on our quality of sleep is therefore concerning.

For many of us, our smartphone is the last thing we use before dozing off at night and the first thing we check as soon as we wake up. This habitual cycle, though hard to break, is anything but helpful for our sleep hygiene and, by extension, our mental and physical health.

The habitual cycle of using our phones until we fall asleep and checking them as soon as we wake up is anything but helpful for our sleep hygiene.

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Pre-teens are being hit the hardest, with those as young as ten losing eight to nine hours of sleep per week. Granted, that study did have a relatively small sample size, but it is one of the first ones to look in depth at how sites such as TikTok and Instagram are driving a “fear of missing out” in children among their peers.

 

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