How using electronic devices at night may take a toll on sperm quality

Hormone disruption caused by late-night screen use may partly explain why male fertility has been on the decline, according to experts. Photo: Marjan Apostolovic/iStock

(Stacey Colino/ Everyday Health) — The next time your guy tries to bring his smartphone or tablet into bed, you may want to discourage him from doing so — and not just because it kills the mood.

A new study, shared at the Virtual SLEEP 2020 meeting, found a significant association between evening and late-night exposure to light-emitting digital devices and poor sperm quality.

The study examined 116 men, ages 21 to 59, who were undergoing evaluation at a fertility unit in Israel. After filling out detailed questionnaires about their demographic, health, and sleep variables as well as their daily exposure to digital media devices, the men were sent to a lab to have samples of their semen collected and analyzed within an hour.

It turned out that frequent evening use of digital devices was correlated with reduced sperm motility (the ability to “swim” properly) and reduced sperm concentration. In particular, smartphone use in the evening, tablet use after bedtime, and television use in the evening were all correlated with a decline in sperm concentration, according to the principal investigator, Amit Green, PhD, the head of research and development at the Sleep and Fatigue Institute at the Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv. (…)

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