The Reason You Shouldn't Sleep With Your Smartphone

Smartphones have become a staple of our every waking moment. They connect us with friends. They keep us aware of our favorite celebrities' opinions on the current political climate. They carry ten times as many germs as a toilet seat, yet still we rub them on our tender faces. If Millennials and Gen Z-ers are capable of love, and there's a slim possibility that we are, then we feel it for our phones.

But we mustn't take them to bed with us. Never, no not ever. And it's not just because we use them for our jobs, and that would be a clear violation of workplace boundaries. It's because hitting the mattress with phone in hand is a great way to mess up your whole brain. At least, that's what scientists seem to think.

So why shouldn't you sleep with your smartphone?

According to research published by the US National Library of Medicine, having your cell phone with you when you go to sleep will, to the surprise of nobody, keep you from going to sleep. In the study, around 250,000 young people's cell phone activity was monitored over a four-week period, leading many participants, probably, to say that they landed on "that page" by accident.

Per their report, of those involved, "More than 12 percent had smartphone activity in the middle of the night (three to five hours after self-reported bedtime), and 41 percent had smartphone interrupted sleep on at least one weekday during a four-week period. Those with frequent smartphone interrupted sleep had on average 48 minutes shorter self-reported sleep duration and higher body mass index."

But that's all very clinical. For a real shot of vitamin B-afraid, we turn, as always, to WebMD, which points out that sleep deprivation is responsible not just for drowsiness and an uptick in your Starbucks budget, but also Three Mile Island and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Yes, really. Those events are number one with a bullet on the WebMD list of the natural results of REM interruptions.

Let's meet these two perspectives in the middle. The blue light emitted by smartphone screens has been well-documented as an eyeball-rewirer, sending signals to your brain that you should really stay up for like five more minutes. So if you want a good night's sleep, leave your phone in the kitchen. Lizzo's fire tweets will still be there in the morning.