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Expert Reaction: Britons addicted to mobile phones

Posted on 2 August 2018

An expert in sleep patterns at the University of York’s Sleep Laboratory comments on the Ofcom report on the amount of time people in the UK spend on their mobile phones.

The blue light of digital screens hinders quality sleep

Dr Scott Cairney, from the University's Department of Psychology, said: “The blue light that mobile phones emit can essentially 'trick' the brain into thinking that it should be awake, rather than going to sleep.  

“So by using your phone in bed you're essentially waking your brain up at a time when it needs to be winding down.  

“Even dim light can interfere with circadian rhythms and melatonin secretion, a hormone that helps us to fall sleep at night, but blue light is particularly powerful at this.  


“Blue light boosts attention, reaction times and mood. This is good during the day, but obviously the last thing you want at night.  

“Electronic screens, such as mobile phones and tablets, increase our exposure to blue light, and thus using phones in bed will severely inhibit your ability to wind down.” 

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