Hospitals are being overrun by exhausted phone addicts who take their gadgets to bed.
The number of patients with insomnia has trebled in five years – and experts blame smartphone glow for serious sleep problems.
Much of the rise is being blamed on stressful lifestyles and a “24-hour on” culture which sees people glued to their phones night and day.
The strain on shift workers has added to the toll of insomniacs too. NHS data for England shows there were 15,245 cases last year – up 18% on the 12,894 in 2018.
Many insomniacs attend hospital for conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma or a stroke – then say they cannot sleep.
The NHS spends £50million a year on sleeping pills, with 8.5 million prescriptions last year alone.
ITV newsman Tom Bradby, 53, and Lloyds chief Antonio Horta-Osorio, 56, are among sufferers.
The banker said: “I understand now why they use sleep deprivation to torture prisoners.”
Sleep expert Sophie Bostock said: “Poor sleep is the most common mental health complaint in the UK and has become increasingly problematic during lockdown.”
Stephanie Romiszewski, of Exeter-based Sleepyhead Clinic, said: “Things make it worse, such as spending too much time on our screens in the night.
“We need specialist services for insomnia – the most common sleep disorder yet one of the least treated.”eal they are insomniacs.