Research on Smartphones and Sleep

Longer smartphone usage time was associated with worse sleep quality in the study. A lot of people should disconnect at least 30 minutes to an hour before sleeping, as constantly, obsessively checking phones is not worth the negative health consequences.

Smartphones are increasingly becoming part of everyday life, but questions remain about the effects of frequent use on sleep. Poor sleep is associated with health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and depression.

Researchers sought to test the hypothesis that increased screen-time may be associated with poor sleep by analyzing data from 653 adult individuals across the United States participating in the Health eHeart Study. Participants installed a smartphone application which recorded their screen-time, defined as the number of minutes in each hour that the screen was turned on, over a 30-day period. They also recorded their sleeping hours and sleep quality.

The researchers found that each participant totaled an average of 38.4 hours over this period, with smartphones being activated on average for 3.7 minutes in each hour. Longer average screen-time was associated with poor sleep quality and less sleep overall, particularly when smartphones were used near participants’ bedtime.