You know your smartphone addiction has reached an entirely new level of unhealthy when you can’t hit the pillow at night without it beside you.
As if it isn’t problematic enough to leave your devices charging in the bedroom overnight, a survey conducted by YouGov and The Huffington Post last fall found that 63 percent of smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 29 actually sleep with their phones or tablets in their beds.
In recent years, scientists have discovered that our chronic sleep deprivation is linked to these devices being allowed in our sleep space. A study published in the journal Nature last summer by Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, M.D., Ph.D., revealed how the artificial blue light emitted from electronic devices like cell phones, smartphones and tablets activates arousing neurons within the brain, preventing us from feeling sleepy. Plus: Remaining tethered to technology up until bedtime and keeping devices in our sleeping environments (leading to increased access) not only affects our ability to fall asleep, but the quality of the sleep we achieve by disrupting the body’s production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.
While the blue light argument is a focal point in the tech-free bedroom movement, it’s not the only reason we benefit from leaving the bedroom a sanctuary reserved for sleep.