Author: “Smartphone use in the evening, tablet use after bedtime, and television use in the evening were all correlated with the decline of sperm concentration.“
DARIEN, Ill. — Numerous studies link smartphone or tablet use at night to trouble falling asleep. Now, a new study finds yet another compelling reason to avoid such gadgets before bed — at least for men who hope to one day start a family. New research by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine notes a correlation between nighttime digital media use and poor sperm quality.
These preliminary results suggest that the more often a man uses digital devices, both in the evening in general and after bedtime, the more his sperm quality will decline. Among studied males who reported regular and copious electronic device use at night, three measures of sperm quality (concentration, motility and progressive motility) were lower.
For reference, progressive motility refers to the ability of a man’s sperm to “swim” correctly. This, of course, is an essential part of the conception process.
“Smartphone and tablet use in the evening and after bedtime was correlated with decline in sperm quality. Furthermore, smartphone use in the evening, tablet use after bedtime, and television use in the evening were all correlated with the decline of sperm concentration,” says principal investigator Dr. Amit Green in a release. Green heads research and development at the Sleep and Fatigue Institute at the Assuta Medical Center in Israel.
Sperm quality also impacted by sleep habits
For this study, semen samples were collected from 116 men of various ages (21-59 years old). All of the participants were already enrolled in a fertility evaluation program. Participants also filled out surveys asking about their nighttime routines, sleep habits, and use of tech devices.
Besides these main findings, researchers also note a relationship between sperm quality and sleep habits. Men who sleep for longer periods tend to have higher sperm counts and greater progressive motility. Men with “greater sleepiness,” on the other hand, have lower overall sperm quality.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report these types of correlations between sperm quality and exposure time to short-wavelength light emitted from digital media, especially smartphones and tablets, in the evening and after bedtime,” says Green.
The study is published in SLEEP.