According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, addiction to smartphones will result in poor sleep.
Researchers studied the sleep pattern of 1,043 students between the ages of 18 and 30 at King’s College London. These students were asked to complete two questionnaires on their sleep quality and smartphone usage, in person and online.
For the study, a 10-question validated scale was developed. This scale was used to assess smartphone addiction in children. It was found that nearly 40% of university students qualified as “addicted” to smartphones.
“Our estimated prevalence is consistent with other reported studies in young adult populations globally, which are in the range of 30–45%,” lead author and King’s College medical student Sei Yon Sohn and her coauthors wrote in the study.
“Later time of use was also significantly associated with smartphone addiction, with use after 1 a.m. conferring a 3-fold increased risk,” the authors wrote.
Students who were addicted to smartphones were also found to be suffering from poor poor sleep quality. That falls in line with prior studies that have found overuse of smartphones at night to be associated with trouble falling asleep, reduced sleep duration and daytime tiredness. That’s likely because use of smartphones close to bedtime has been shown to delay circadian rhythm, the body’s normal sleep-and-wake clock.
However, this is a cross-sectional study. It has not arrived at any firm conclusions about phone usage as the cause of reduced sleep quality.
“It does, however, provide some compelling evidence that the nature of smartphone usage and its related consequences are important considerations in addressing the emerging phenomenon of ‘smartphone addiction,'” said Patton, who is lead for the Drugs, Alcohol & Addictive Behaviours Research Group at the university.
“Readers should be cautious of making any firm conclusions about the impact of smart phone use in the general population, or the idea that they’re addictive in any objective sense, on the basis of this work,” said Andrew Przybylski, a senior research fellow and associate professor at the University of Oxford.
How to get to sleep
The blue light that your smartphone emits is not only bad for your vision, but it’s bad for your brain too. If you have difficulty falling asleep, a regular bedtime routine will help you wind down and prepare for bed, says NHS.
First of all, keep regular sleeping hours. This programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine.
Most adults need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night. By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime schedule.
Keep your bedroom just for sleep and sex (or masturbation). Unlike most vigorous physical activity, sex makes us sleepy. This has evolved in humans over thousands of years.
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