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British boarding school is making students turn in their phones at night

No more endless scrolling through Instagram before bed.

Students at Eton College have to hand in their phones before bed.
Jack Taylor / Getty Images

Many of us scroll through our phones just before falling asleep and immediately after waking up. But first-year students at Eton College, an English boarding school for boys, no longer have that luxury.

The students have been ordered to turn in their phones at night because of concerns around the pressures of social media, according to The Guardian. Eton College is one of the most exclusive boarding schools in the UK. It costs around $50,000 a year. Some of its former students include Prince William and Prince Harry, actor Eddie Redmayne and former Prime Minister David Cameron.   

The school's headmaster, Simon Henderson, reportedly said the policy is designed to decrease the students' screen time and improve their sleep. 

"Being a teenager has always been hard, but I do think it's becoming harder," Henderson said at a conference, according to The Guardian. "Social media plays a part of in that."

For now, the policy is only geared toward 13- and 14-year-old first-year boys at the school. But it's reportedly considering extending the policy to students in their second year, after seeing its success. Administrators say the boys have had a "positive reaction" and it's impacted their well-being, according to The Guardian. 

"We expected boys to complain, but most say that they welcome it as they appreciate having the break and not feeling the social pressure to read and reply to messages instantly," Henderson reportedly said. "They think it improves their sleep."

At 9:30 p.m., students are told to turn in all electronic devices to school staff. They can pick the devices up the next morning at 7:45 a.m. Exceptions, such as in the case of homesickness, can be made. 

Phone addiction is a serious problem, with Americans checking their phones up to 47 times a day. In addition, 89 percent of us look at our phones within an hour of waking up, and 81 percent look at them an hour before going to sleep.

Society's tech addiction problem is even capturing the attention of companies who put those devices in our hands in the first place. Earlier this month, Apple introduced new features in iOS 12, the latest version of its mobile software, designed to help stop you from constantly checking your device. Google also announced a set of new features in May for users to manage how much time they spend on their devices.

Eton College wasn't immediately available for comment after hours. 

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