By Haiting Hu
A recently published study conducted in the UK investigates the association between smartphone addiction and quality of sleep in the young adult population (aged 18 to 30). Based on this study, a CNN article provides some advice to “fight back” and improve our habits.
The study analyzed the smartphone use of 1,043 students at King’s College London, presenting them with two sets of questions designed to assess both their quality of sleep and how they use their smartphone. The results found that almost 40% of the students surveyed show signs of smartphone addiction, with many of them also reporting sleep problems. Dr. Vsevlod Polotsky of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine notes that LED light can, for example, reduce melatonin levels which can alter circadian rhythm.
While the findings of the research highlight a growing issue with technology addiction in the digital age, in particular cellphone addiction or “nomophobia,” it should be noted that, according to the director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute, Andrew Przybylski, cellphone addiction is not yet recognized as a disorder. Even so, studies such as that undertaken at King’s College, certainly highlight a growing tendency toward excessive smartphone use.
Experts have some suggestions to reduce smartphone usage, including times of day when you deliberately do not use your phone, removing social media apps and only accessing them via computer, switching visuals to grayscale to reduce engagement, trying to replace time spent on your phone with other activities that are better for your health, and, of course, not using your phone before sleep.