Where do you leave your smartphone overnight? If you said “charging on a bedside table,” you’re probably like a lot of us; having your phone so close can be super-convenient. You can check a few emails before hitting the hay, look over your schedule for the next day, and there’s a solid chance that you’re using your phone itself as your alarm clock. But for as much as it seems to offer, could a smartphone by your bed have negative consequences? Some sleep researchers have sure come to believe as much, viewing the convenience of a multi-function device like a smartphone as a “slippery slope” to poor sleep.
Maybe the problem starts when you replace a bedside clock with your phone. When you wake up in the middle of the night, wondering how much time you have left to sleep, you grab for your phone – only once it’s in your hand, you can’t help but glance at your notifications… oh, there’s one new email you should probably read before morning… and you might as well check your Twitter feed while you have the phone out.
And more than just posing a distraction, your phone may serve as a gateway to anxiety – if one of those late-night emails presents an issue you’re not going to be able to deal with until morning, you may easily find yourself stressed and having trouble getting back to sleep – and that itself could just drive you back to your phone to kill time.
Specifically, researches point to younger users – those in their 20s and 30s – as among the most likely to report losing sleep due to their interactions with phones. There may be a simple solution – just leave your phone in another room at night – but that can still be a tall order for users as phone-obsessed as we are.
Have you ever wondered if your phone is having a negative impact on the quality of your sleep? Did you do anything about it?