British researchers have found that one in three adults check their smartphones in the middle of the night.

The popularity of smartphones has increased rapidly in the last decade. Majority of owners have a smartphone rather than a feature phone. Latest models have many capabilities and it is not just a device to make or receive calls and texts. Smartphones are often used for accessing social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

Although smartphones have many uses, researchers at Deloitte in the UK have found that the devices also affect users' sleep patterns. The report highlights that one in 10 smartphone users reach for their handsets as soon as they wake up. One in every three smartphone owner reaches out for their device within 5 minutes after waking up and 50 percent within 45 minutes.

The report also highlighted nocturnal usage of smartphones.

"Two thirds of smartphone owners do not check their phones at night; but of those who do, a third check for messages and a sixth reply to them. Just over a quarter check for social media updates or personal email, affecting sleep quality," says the Deloitte report (PDF).

The researchers also found that nocturnal smartphone usage is more common in young people. Around 50 percent of adults between the age of 18 and 24 years old check their smartphone in the middle of the night. While one in five people check their social media notifications or instant messages, and about a seventh also reply to instant messages.

Researchers suggest that people should control the use of smartphones at night to avoid sleep disorders.

Here are some tips to get rid of smartphone addiction:

Place the device out of reach.

Owners will not be able to use their handset if it is out of reach.

Turn off the smartphone.

Switching off the smartphone means that owners will not be informed of notifications. Such a practice, especially at night, will not disturb sleep patterns of mobile phone owners.

No smartphone use in the first 30 minutes of the day.

As pointed by the Deloitte report, one-tenth of people reach out for their smartphone just a few minutes after waking up. Owners should refrain from using their smartphones within 30 minutes of waking up.

Instead, smartphone owners should use this time to stretch, meditate or prepare a healthy breakfast.

Enforce no phone time zones.

For some smartphone owners, social- and work-related phone calls and notifications can arrive at any time of the day or night. Mobile phone users should have a no-phone zone when they either switch off or put their phone in silent mode.

They should not be tempted to check for any notifications during this time.

Delete apps.

Some apps could me more addictive than others. Mobile phone owners should try to delete some of the addictive apps to get rid of smartphone addiction.

It takes a lot of willpower to get rid of any addiction and smartphone addiction should be treated same.

Photo: Håkan Dahlström | Flickr

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