DARIEN, IL – Men might want to think twice before reaching for their smartphone at night. A new study found correlations between electronic media use at night and poor sperm quality.

Preliminary results show that greater self-reported exposure to light-emitting media devices in the evening and after bedtime is associated with a decline in sperm quality. Sperm concentration, motility and progressive motility — the ability of sperm to “swim” properly  — were all lower, and the percentage of immotile sperm that are unable to swim was higher, in men who reported more smartphone and tablet usage at night.

“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,” said principal investigator Amit Green, PhD, head of research and development at the Sleep and Fatigue Institute at the Assuta Medical Center in Tel-Aviv, Israel. “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.”

The researchers obtained semen samples from 116 men between the ages of 21 and 59 years who were undergoing fertility evaluation. Participants completed questionnaires about their sleep habits and use of electronic devices.

The study also found a correlation between longer sleep duration and higher sperm total and greater progressive motility. In contrast, greater sleepiness was associated with poorer sperm quality.

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep for Virtual SLEEP 2020, which will be held Aug. 27-30. SLEEP is the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

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For a copy of the abstract, “Light Emitted from Media Devices at Night is Associated with Decline in Sperm Quality,” or to arrange an interview with the study author or an AASM spokesperson, please contact AASM Communications Coordinator Corinne Lederhouse at 630-737-9700, ext. 9366, or [email protected].

About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is advancing sleep care and enhancing sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 11,000 accredited member sleep centers and individual members, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals (aasm.org).

About the Sleep Research Society
The Sleep Research Society (SRS) is a professional membership society that advances sleep and circadian science. The SRS provides forums for the exchange of information, establishes and maintains standards of reporting and classifies data in the field of sleep research, and collaborates with other organizations to foster scientific investigation on sleep and its disorders. The SRS also publishes the peer-reviewed, scientific journals Sleep and Sleep Advances (sleepresearchsociety.org).