Most of us are tired of hearing that we need start trying to pry our phones out of our sleep-deprived hands way before bedtime, but this advice isn’t going away. In fact, a new study has actually measured how much time people spend on their phones before bed instead of just asking them to guess and found that all that screen time leads to worse sleep.
The study from the University of California San Francisco used an app on Android smartphones to track the amount of time people spent on their phones. Lead study author Matthew Christiansen says what makes their study unique is that app running in the background, keeping track anytime the phone’s screen is on. He says it’s hard to estimate how much you’re actually using your phone, so this eliminates the guesswork.
And when researchers asked study participants about their sleep habits, they found that people who spent the most time on their phones during the day actually reported getting less sleep and worse sleep. Plus the people who used their phones “more than average” right before bed took longer to fall asleep.
None of that is really surprising, but get this - people who had an average of one extra minute of screen time a day got almost an hour less sleep.
"We know in the long-term, sleep is so important for your overall health," Christensen says. "This is a preliminary study, but it really made us think that it's possible that the way in which we use our phones could be having a negative impact, so it's worth paying more attention to."