The smartphone-dependence is woman: one in five, against a man in eight, loses hours of sleep because of the mobile device par excellence. This is claimed to be the case by research conducted by the Australian Queensland University of Technology. According to the survey over one in ten people of both sexes accuse the device symbol of our times of having decreased productivity. We talked about this medical and social problem with Dr. Vincenzo Tullo, a neurologist and specialist in sleep and headache medicine at Humanitas.
Smartphone addiction: physical and psychological impact
The researchers surveyed 709 people aged 18 to 83 with questions about the use and feel of their smartphones. The study found that 24% of women and 14% of men can be considered problematic users and that 14% of women and 8% of men try to hide their time on the phone. Among the consequences of the use, about 8% of the sample of both sexes experienced some pain or physical discomfort. These percentages have increased significantly compared to those recorded following similar research in 2005, when mobile phone technology was far less developed. The study also highlights the growing influence of the smartphone on various aspects of everyday life, from loss of sleep to loosening of responsibilities, so the decline in attention to driving is the most immediate example.
For a good night’s sleep: turn off your devices
That tablets, smartphones and computers (obviously for those who abuse them) are sleep killers has also been the conclusion of an experiment carried out in the United States on the rest of adults in two different conditions: after using portable devices and after reading printed material. In both situations the lighting in the environment was poor, until the participants chose to go to bed. The first difference was bedtime: those using electronic devices chose to go to bed much later, even knowing that the alarm clock would be set at 6 am. The researchers found that users of electronic devices were less sleepy in bed and less alert during the first hour after waking up than printed paper readers. Sleep for paper readers came on average 30 minutes earlier than for smartphone and tablet users. On this particular aspect, we can only make assumptions, for example that the light of electronic devices will suppress the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep; or that the light-dark balance will be altered by the blue light emitted by electronic devices; or even the brightness of the screens and the tendency of users to keep them close to themselves. So, while waiting for more in-depth research on the causes of smartphone insomnia, the advice is simple: turn off the devices, because there’ s no substitute to be rested while sleeping