Most of us are guilty of checking our smartphones a little too often when we should probably be winding down for sleep with a spot of yoga or meditation. We’re all aware that scrolling endlessly though that health food blogger’s pretty Instagram feed probably isn’t the best use of our time, but it’s not really enough to persuade us to stop.
However, once you discover the myriad of health problems that are caused by checking your phone late at night, you might be more inclined to switch it off as soon as you get into bed. From depression to weight gain to insomnia, it turns out that your late night scrolling sessions could be a lot more damaging than you’d expect.
A recent study of nearly 850 Flemish adults found that using a mobile phone after the lights were turned off was associated with worse sleep quality, insomnia, and symptoms of fatigue. But despite the growing body of evidence that proves blasting our eyes with light from our phones right before sleep is a bad idea, the majority of us still do it.
Dr Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, told Business Insider: “People are exposing their eyes to a stream of photons from these objects that basically tells your brain, ‘stay awake’. That light beam tells your brain ‘don’t secrete melatonin yet, it’s not time for sleep’.”