Smartphone use before bedtime might impact sleep, and daytime tiredness

Smartphone or cellphones are a useful tool and when used properly can have many benefits.
Many students frequently use cell-phones and often very close to bedtime. Students may not know that cellphone use might impact their ability to sleep at night and this might impact their daytime energy levels.
This study explored the relationship between cellphone use at bedtime and sleep.

Who was studied?
532 students aged 18–39 were recruited from lectures or via e-mail (1).
Mean time of media use per night was 46.6 minutes.

What were the study results?
Mobile phone usage for playing/surfing/texting was positively associated with insomnia.
Computer usage for playing/surfing/reading was positively associated with insomnia.

What do the results mean?
Computer or cellphone use in bed before bedtime may worsen your sleep.

How does screen time impact sleep?
There are various potential causes:
Media use might make it take longer to fall asleep (2).
Media use might mean less time spent sleeping, thus reducing sleep (3).
Bright light emitted by electronic devices might impact sleep quality (4).

Light exposure might be temporarily activating you (5-6).

Are you sleeping poorly? Are you tired during the day? Is screen time before bed impacting your sleep? Will cutting down on screen time improve your sleep? How do you know?

By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA, OSU-CCS Psychiatrist
Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.

1. Fossum IN, et al. The Association Between Use of Electronic Media in Bed Before Going to Sleep and Insomnia Symptoms, Daytime Sleepiness, Morningness, and Chronotype. Behavioral Sleep Medicine. Volume 12, Issue 5, 2014, pages 343- 357. Published online: 14 Jul 2014. DOI: 10.1080/15402002.2013.819468.

2. Higuchi, S., Motohashi, Y., Liu, Y., & Maeda, A. (2005). Effects of playing a computer game using a bright display on presleep physiological variables, sleep latency, slow wave sleep and REM sleep. Journal of Sleep Research, 14, 267–273.
3. Van den Bulck, J. (2004). Television viewing, computer game playing, and Internet use and self-reported time to bed and time out of bed in secondary-school children. Sleep, 27, 101–104.
4. Cain, N., & Gradisar, M. (2010). Electronic media use and sleep in school-aged children and adolescents: A review. Sleep Medicine, 11, 735–742.
5. Cajochen, C., et al. (2011). Evening exposure to a light-emitting diodes (LED)-backlit computer screen affects circadian physiology and cognitive performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 110, 1432–1438.
6. Campbell, S. S., et al. (1995). Light treatment for sleep disorders: Consensus report. III. Alerting and activating effects. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 10, 129–132.