We live in a world where owning and using a smartphone is a need to keep up-to-date with what’s going on. However, as much as useful these devices can be, there’s a huge downside to it. Aside from the fact that more and more teens become addicted to smartphones and tablets, it turns out that checking your phone before you go to sleep at night is bad for your health.

A video where Dr. Dan Siegel, a professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, was posted online to help everyone understand the harmful effects of checking your phone before going to sleep. Initially, using your phone just before bedtime can disrupt sleep. It may seem insignificant as some people even brag about sleeping only four or fewer hours a day. But this actually has some serious effects on your health and even encourages the development of some health issues.

What Happens When You Look at Your Phone Before You Sleep?

Here is a closer look at what exactly takes place if you can’t stop yourself from checking your emails or texts or doing any other activity with your smartphone:

  1. Your brain thinks it should stay awake. Because you look at bright light, a stream of photons tells your brain it is not time to sleep. Melatonin, the hormone that lets you sleep comfortably at night, is therefore stopped in its tracks from production, so you stay up for more hours.
  1. You sleep less. When you get to finally rest, sleep will help your active neurons rest as well. But the more important part here is that the glial cells clean up the toxins your active neurons produced. Because you stayed up for a few more hours for your phone, you only get six or fewer hours of sleep.
  1. Brain problems can occur over time. Most of us already have this habit of checking smartphones. Unfortunately, this has a bad effect on our health, especially on the brain. It can affect our memory and can cause us to lose focus. We may also reduce our ability to solve problems.

    Drop your phone off before you hit the sack / PicHelp
    Drop your phone off before you hit the sack / PicHelp
  1. Physical problems also appear. Our body is also affected if we don’t sleep enough. Insulin, which is the hormone that controls our metabolism, is often negatively disturbed. This can boost our appetite, leading to weight gain. It can also cause the body to become sluggish and you feeling tired no matter what time of the day it is. You probably also know the connection between faulty insulin use and production of the body with diabetes.

You don’t have to throw away your phone or avoid using it at night. All you need is to time this activity correctly. It is recommended that you turn off your phone at 9PM or at least an hour before you go to bed.