The Worst App on Your Phone for Sleep, According to a New Study

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If you've ever found yourself on your phone right before falling asleep, you're not alone. In a new study, sleep science and review platform Sleep Junkie surveyed 2,012 American adults and found that 78% of them experience revenge sleep procrastination.

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But, what exactly is revenge sleep procrastination? According to Sleep Foundation, it is "the decision to sacrifice sleep for leisure time that is driven by a daily schedule lacking in free time." In other words, if you're on your phone before bed in an attempt to reclaim your free time, all while pushing off sleep, you might be dealing with revenge sleep procrastination.

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For more information about what apps people are specifically perusing on their phones before bed, Sleep Junkie studied 128 Americans. While that's a small sample size, the findings are still interesting. In particular, the platform looked at smartwatch data showing how long it took participants to fall asleep and the quality of sleep they received — based on the amount of time spent in the REM stage of sleep — after using different apps.

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As a reference point, people who did not use their phones before bed spent 23% of their time sleeping in REM. According to Heathline, this is within the normal range (between 20% and 25%). On the other hand, this is the effect different apps had on that cycle:

  1. TikTok:​ 14% of sleep cycle spent in REM
  2. Instagram:​ 15.5% of sleep cycle spent in REM
  3. Snapchat:​ 16% of sleep cycle spent in REM
  4. Twitter:​ 18% of sleep cycle spent in REM
  5. Facebook:​ 19.5% of sleep cycle spent in REM

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Based on this study's data, TikTok is the worst app to use before bed, with participants spending only 14% of their sleep cycle in REM after taking one hour and seven minutes to fall asleep. Sleep Junkie adds that 89% of people woke up feeling tired after using TikTok, compared with 24% of those who felt tired after not using electronics before bed.

When you consider that one billion people use TikTok each month, per CNBC, these numbers become even more startling.

To combat the effects of app-based revenge sleep procrastination, Sleep Junkie recommends avoiding electronics for at least two hours before you hit the hay. For more information on this study and tips for better sleep hygiene, click here.

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