Smartphone blues? How your phone affects your sleep

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By The Gut Health Doctor Team

Dr Megan Rossi in a lab looking through a microscope

Smartphone blues? Trouble sleeping? Try ditching your phone at least 30 mins before bed!

Hands up if you’re sometimes still glued to your phone moments before you hit the pillow? I know I’m guilty of it and I do find it affects my sleep.

You’ve probably already heard it’s a good idea to have some ‘no phone’ time before bed. Now a new study (a randomized controlled trial) shows smartphone sleep struggles are real.

4-week challenge

If you’re feeling anxious and struggling to sleep, especially with the latest lockdown news, join me over the next 4 weeks and try putting your phone away at least 30-60 mins before bed – let me know how you feel.

The study

38 adults were split into two groups: half instructed NOT to use their phones 30 mins before bed, and the other half with no restriction. Over 4 weeks, their sleep habits, sleep quality, pre-sleep arousal and mood were measured.

The results

Limiting smartphone use before bedtime was found to significantly improve sleep quality, mood and working memory within just 4 weeks.


It’s thought that avoiding mobile phones before bedtime helps by…

  • Reducing the negative impact of the blue light emitted by phones.
  • Reducing the stimulation from reading the contents of your phone. (Maybe those 50+ messages in your group WhatsApp chat can wait)

The importance of sleep

Sleep is super important for our gut and overall health – sleep deprivation is linked to increased inflammation and stress hormones in your body.

Not getting enough sleep can actually have a negative impact on our gut microbes – they have their own body clock too!

When you haven’t had enough sleep, you’re also more susceptible to getting sick, as it’s linked to lower immunity.


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