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Nighttime Digital Device Use Might Affect Sperm Quality

Nighttime Digital Device Use Might Affect Sperm QualityDo you watch TV at night? Scroll through social media or news sites on your phone before bed? If you’re a man who would like to start a family, this could be a problem.

Using smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices at night could affect a man’s fertility, according to a recent study in the journal Sleep.

Light-emitting devices are associated with poorer sperm quality, the authors said.

The researchers worked with 116 men aged 21 to 59 who were patients at a fertility clinic. Each man gave a semen sample and answered questions about his nighttime device use.

Men who used their digital devices in the evening and after bedtime were more likely to have problems with sperm motility. This means that their sperm cells had trouble moving forward or “swimming.” Good motility increases the chances that a sperm cell will reach an egg cell and fertilize it.

Device users also tended to have lower sperm concentrations.

Sleep duration seemed to affect sperm, too. Men who slept longer were more likely to have higher sperm totals and better-moving sperm compared to men who reported sleepiness.

“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,” said principal investigator Amit Green, PhD in a news release.

Dr. Green noted that evening television use could also affect sperm quality.


Colino, Stacey

“How Using Electronic Devices at Night May Take a Toll on Sperm Quality”

(Last updated: September 9, 2020)

Chertoff, Jane

“What Is a Normal Sperm Count?”

(August 29, 2018)

Mayo Clinic

“Healthy sperm: Improving your fertility”

(April 25, 2020)


Green, A., et al.

“Light Emitted from Media Devices at Night is Associated with Decline in Sperm Quality”

(Abstract. Published: May 27, 2020)

Sleep 2020

“Study examines link between sperm quality and light from devices at night”

(Press release. August 26, 2020)