The iPhone is the first thing many of us grab in the morning and the last thing we look at before shutting our eyes. A startling report outlines five reasons you shouldn’t use your iPhone in bed, or even an hour before you plan to go to sleep. In short, looking at your iPhone in bed could make you stupid and fat.
It isn’t a surprise that experts recommend we don’t use an iPhone in bed, but a new video outlines five incredibly important reasons that you should stop using the iPhone in bed, and start paying attention to your sleep.
Using your iPhone in bed impacts more than just how tired you are the next day. After watching Dr. Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, explain what this lack of sleep actually does to your mind and your body, you may be convinced to put your iPhone down before you go to bed.
In a short interview with Business Insider, Dr. Dan Siegel outlines what happens when you are looking at the iPhone, iPad or Android screen late at night and how that changes your brain and your body in ways that push you towards making stupid decisions and how it could also make you fat.
Tells Your Brain Stay Awake
When you are looking at an Android or iPhone in bed the photons that beam into your eyes tell your brain that it needs to stay awake. This is why even when you are exhausted and almost falling asleep while watching videos or browsing Reddit on your iPhone you don’t fall asleep. Simply using the iPhone in bed signals your brain that it is not time to sleep.
No Time to Clean Up Toxins
When you sleep your active neurons get a rest, but there is an even bigger problem. Dr. Siegel explains that in addition to the rest that your brain needs, the Glial Cells use this time to clean up the toxins that your brain produces.
If you don’t get the seven to nine hours of sleep that most people need, the toxins aren’t taken care of.
Attention & Memory Problems
With a lack of sleep, you will experience trouble keeping your attention in the right place and you can also experience memory problems. If you can’t focus or can’t remember important things, you will see a decrease in your effectiveness at work and other activities through the day.
Problem Solving Problems
When you don’t get enough sleep and your brain can’t rid itself of these toxins you will actually act dumber when challenged with problems. Dr. Siegel explains that, “your ability to think through problems is challenged.”
Anyone who spent significant time without sleep can attest to trouble solving problems and even making simple connections between cause and effect. In the video above an Army private, who is likely operating with little sleep, doesn’t realize his weapon is out of ammo and can’t understand how it happened.
More Likely to Gain Weight
A lack of sleep can throw your metabolism out of whack, which can cause weight gain. That’s right, using your iPhone in bed could be a part of why you are fat.
It’s not just your metabolism. The NY Times describes the results of a 2013 study found, “A sleepy brain appears to not only respond more strongly to junk food, but also has less ability to rein that impulse in.” Another study found a, “consistent increased risk of obesity amongst short sleepers in children and adults.”
Looking at your iPhone in bed and staying up all night could be the reason you have trouble saying no to a doughnut in the morning.
What Can You Do?
Dr. Siegel calls this a “Serious, serious problem,” but it is something that users can adjust to. He recommends putting your phone down at 9 PM to give your body an hour of screen free time before bed.
This might mean buying an alarm clock and using it instead of the one on your iPhone, and moving the phone across the room or into another room to charge.