Research has decided that teenagers are buggering up their sleep patterns thanks to the use of smartphones and tablets. Apparently, the more they use them, the worse their sleep is going to be. Seeing as teenagers pretty much have their hands grafted to their phones, they're going to end up looking like Nosferatu.
A study of around 10,000 16- to 19-year-olds suggested that over two hours of screen time after school was strongly linked to delayed sleep and a shorter kip - many of the kids tested said they frequently got less than five hours sleep per night, according to the BMJ Open report.
On average, girls said they spent around 5-and-a-half hours a day watching TV, using smartphones and computers, and other devices, and boys did the same for around 6-and-a-half hours a day in front of a screen. The most common thing they're all doing is chatting online and playing video games.
Various bits of research in recent years has shown that the quality of sleep has got worse since gadget use became more frequent.
Dr Mari Hysing and colleagues at Uni Research Health, Bergen said: "We know that sufficient sleep is essential for good physical and mental health. Logging off may be one important step toward securing a good night's sleep."
However getting anyone to stop using their phone is nigh-on impossible, unless you rule your loved-ones with an iron fist. So with that, instead of stopping phone use, here's some apps that can aid you for sleeping or at least, get you up in the morning if you're a dozy berk.
Best Apps For Sleep
The blue light in your phone or tablet might be messing around with your natural (circadian) rhythm and is making your sleep go wonky, according to some recent research. So, the Twilight app, according to the makers: "makes your device screen adapt to the time of the day. It filters the flux of blue light emitted by your phone or tablet after sunset and protects your eyes with a soft and pleasant red filter. The filter intensity is smoothly adjusted to the sun cycle based on your local sunset and sunrise times." Less blue light equals a better sleep, apparently.
This app describes itself as "an alarm clock and sleep cycle tracker, wakes you gently in optimal moment for pleasant mornings". It has a load of graphs and whatnot, to see how well you were sleeping in the night, which you can pore over in the morning to see if you can fix future sleeps. If you have bother waking up, the alarm clock has puzzles to complete, or it'll keep beeping at you.
Sleep Cycle is a popular iOS app that keeps an eye on your sleeping habits and wakes you up at the optimum time of the morning. This app will also advise where you place your iPhone at night, to ensure a better sleep. Again, it is another app that features graphs and the like, so you can study your sleeping patterns.
One sleeping app that is popular with both Android and Apple-fans, is Sleep Bot, which again, tracks your sleep patterns and gives you stats. However, this one auto-records your sleep so you can listen to yourself snoring or muttering about that hot stuff in the office. Basically, it'll let you know if you're having breathing problems, which you can then fix and hopefully, have a better rest in the night. This app even has tips to help improve your sleep hygiene and offers advice on how to fall asleep faster and more deeply.
F.lux is another 'blue light' designed to help you prepare for sleep. It adjusts the colour of your display, making it 'warm' in the evenings and looking more like sunlight during the day.
This app was created by Colin Espie, Professor of Sleep Medicine and Professor at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, and has a load of good reviews on the NHS website, which is quite the thing. With this app, you log in weekly, for your personalised session with the virtual 'Prof', where you'll get a load of advice about ways of helping you sleep better - things to do during the week to aid your snoozing and all that. This one has add-ons though, which aren't cheap.
Do you have any tips for sleeping that don't involve ignoring your phone or getting blind drunk every night? Feel free to share them in the comments.