5 ways your phone is ruining your sleep (and your life)

How’d you sleep last night? Probably not great since only 27% of U.S. adults get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night during the week. And even those hours of sleep may not be high quality because the majority of our days were spent looking at bright blue screens which completely throws off our circadian rhythms and REM cycles.

Did you know that 71% of people actually fall asleep either holding their smartphone, having it in bed with them, or having it on their nightstand? In other words, we are addicted to our phones and it is really taking a toll on our sleep which can throw off our waking hours.

Here are all the ways your phone is hurting your sleep and your overall health:

1. It takes you longer to fall asleep

Even if you feel tired you may find yourself lying awake in bed counting sheep then cows and then pigs BECAUSE NOTHING IS WORKING.

“When we looked at smartphone use around the time when participants reported they went to bed, more smartphone use around that time, in particular, was associated with a longer time to fall asleep and worse sleep quality during the night,” Dr. Gregory Marcus, author of a recent sleep study and an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told CNN.

2. Your sleep is low quality

No Sleeping Beauty comas for you. Marcus’ research fell in line with other studies that found that being on the computer, a tablet or phone close to bedtime is associated with difficulty sleeping.

That blue light that fills your retina all day could be suppressing the production of melatonin which makes you tired and helps keep your sleep cycle on track.

3. It interrupts your sleep

Did someone post something on Facebook or Instagram? Well, now you can’t get back to sleep because your phone needed to alert you of that groundbreaking news. This can completely disrupt a good sleep and again make it harder to fall asleep.

About 72% of children ages 6 to 17 sleep with at least one electronic device in their bedroom. These kids get less sleep on school nights compared with kids who don’t keep devices in their rooms.

4. It makes you less productive

As a result of not getting quality sleep, you are not as productive at work the next day. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), fatigued workers cost employers about $1,200 to $3,100 per employee in declining job performance each year, while sleepy workers are estimated to cost employers $136 billion a year in health-related, lost productivity.

5. It hurts your health in the long and short run

Humans need sleep. It is a basic biological need. If we lose sleep not only do we have weakened performance, memory and attention span but our immune system also becomes more vulnerable.

This means in the short term you are more prone to getting the office cold or flu. In the long run, poor sleep can possibly lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression.