Study links cell phone use to sleep problems in college students

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — College students consume most of their day looking at their cellphones and many are on it for several hours right before they go to bed. A new study from Ithaca College found that it’s affecting their quality of sleep.

Researchers said cell phone use before bed could also mean sleep deprivation, lower grade point averages, impaired mood and an increase in car accidents.

“I think that a lot are in denial and think that they can multitask, in general we think that we can multitask and perform at a much higher level than we really are,” said Pamela Schuetze, Professor of Psychology at Buffalo State College.

Apple has even added a function called night shift mode that shifts the color temperature and filters out the blue light to help users fall asleep.

“That kind of artificial light that comes from the screen can disrupt melatonin which is the hormone that as it increases, makes us feel sleepy,” said Schuetze.

“It makes my eyes adjust easier, and actually want to stay on it longer and you don’t’ realize it, your eyes get comfortable,” said Olimpcia Desamour, Buffalo State College student.

Experts said the best way to improve sleep is leaving cellphones at a further distance.

“Turn the cellphones off or put them into another room. Use an alarm clock that isn’t going to wake you up with a beep of an incoming text,” said Schuetze.

“If my phone wasn’t near my bed so that I wouldn’t wake up and immediately check it, it would probably make my morning more productive,” said Dustin Whitcomb, Buffalo State College student.

The study also found that 62 percent of adults sleep with their phones within reach.

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