Mobile phones should not be used after 10pm, according to the author of the largest study to link disrupted sleep with depression and unhappiness.

People who spend the night checking social media, watching television or roaming the house are more likely to suffer from mood problems such as neuroticism and bipolar disorder, and rate themselves as less happy and more lonely, the study says.

While the researchers cannot prove that disruption to the body clock causes these problems, they argue that it is more evidence that modern life is scrambling our natural rhythms, saying: “Daylight is time for activity and darkness is time for sleep.”

Previous studies have linked shift work that disrupts the natural 24-hour cycle of the body — its circadian rhythms — to a…

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