We’ve talked about it before here on SleepBetter.org, but a new survey has some eye-opening stats related to smartphone usage and sleep. Smartphones are devices that not only allow you to make phone calls, but also send and receive email and texts, log in to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and even play games.
A survey released recently by mobility services company iPass shows, unfortunately, that many smartphone users are tied to their phones so much that it’s reducing the amount and quality of their sleep.
The survey found that 43% of mobile workers store their smartphone within arm’s reach when they sleep at night. Those individuals are 60% more likely to check their phones in the middle of the night.
IPass says individuals living in Asia Pacific are the least rested, with 55% of mobile workers waking at least occasionally to check their smartphone or tablet, and 19% waking every night. Europeans are the most rested with only 27% waking at least occasionally, and 4% waking every night. North Americans fall in the middle, with 37% waking at least occasionally.
One of the more telling statistics from the survey is the reason people give for checking their phones in the middle of the night. More than one-third (36%) said “because it pinged”. This says to us that not only is the phone nearby during sleep hours, but its sounds are also turned up high enough to wake its owner.
It’s no secret to visitors to this website that a good night’s sleep it’s critical to being happy and healthy. It’s also no big surprise that waking in the middle of the night to check email, texts, or Facebook is not conducive to a good night’s sleep. The only true solution to this problem is to keep your smartphone in another room, with the sounds low enough that they can’t be heard. If you must be available for emergency calls, either give people your home number or (if you don’t have a landline) turn off the data on your phone so emails can’t make it through during sleep hours.
This cutting of connectivity may be difficult at first. However, the people who rely on you (whether employers, employees, or dependents) may find that if you’re well rested, you’re more productive during daylight hours … eliminating the need for you to be productive during the time when you should be sleeping.