If you want to wake up well-rested and alert after a good night’s sleep, reduce the amount of time you spend on your mobile phone before going to bed. A study, which has been conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), states that excessive use of mobile phone during bed time adversely affects the quality of sleep. Increased usage is associated with fatigue and insomnia.
The study, which has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, stated that mobile phone usage around bedtime had become an “unstructured leisure activity during night time” with no fixed starting or stopping point. Researchers surveyed as many as 2,000 people aged between 18 and 40 years, and assessments were based on a self-reported questionnaire. These included college students as well as employees in government and private sectors.
The survey revealed that among those who used their mobile phones before going to bed, 72.4% had poor sleep quality.
Respondents were asked to evaluate their sleep based on a seven-day recall period. The study showed that 65.5% of the respondents — more men than women — kept their mobile phone nearby while sleeping.
The survey also found that among the users who slept with their mobile phone by their bedside, 70% of men and 54% of women reported poor quality of sleep. Among those who do not keep their mobile phones beside them, only 8.89 -12.38 % reported poor sleep.
Dr Manoj Kumar Sharma, professor of clinical psychology and service for healthy use of technology clinic, NIMHANS who conducted the study, found that the pattern of mobile phone usage differs among men and women. While men, particularly students, used several game apps, female undergraduate students turned to multimedia applications and social networking sites. “There is a need to avoid using mobile phones for 30 minutes before sleep. Avoid binge-watching videos, using social media or playing games at night,” he said, adding that instead, families should plan activities that don’t rely on gadgets.