Couple ignoring each other on phones in bed Image: iStock/AnaBGD

Bedtime used to be a time to switch off, reconnect with your partner - and maybe even indulge in some intimate fun together after a busy day.

However, new research has shown that the humble smartphone could be coming between couples, because they can't bring themselves to switch it off or leave it outside the bedroom for even a night.

A poll carried out by Asurion on 2,000 adults who live with a spouse or partner discovered that the number one activity people participated in before going to sleep wasn't chatting with their other half, reading a book or having sex; no, it was scrolling through social media channels or partaking in another online activity.

In fact, a quarter of respondents said their phone was the last thing they saw before they shut their eyes - which is really very sad and lonely, when you think about it.

Almost three-quarters of those polled said they take their phones into the bedroom at some point, but the average couple has their phone beside them at night a whopping four times a week.

And it isn't just a quick check of emails or Facebook once a scrolling session starts, either: the average time spent online in bed was 40 minutes.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this was already having a negative impact on the people involved with the research, with 35 per cent saying their partner's phone use was affecting their sex life and 55 per cent reporting a lack of quality time with their loved one.

David Brudö from mental wellbeing app Remente warned Bustle: "Mobile phones can have a negative impact on our attention span, as well as our ability to open up and communicate with others."

Another recent poll by Tappable found that ten per cent of men and 18 per cent of women would choose their phone over sex, but different, larger-scale research by Bazaar.com suggested the figures may be even higher. They found that 20 per cent of smartphone users would go without sex for seven days if it meant they could keep their device beside them.

We think this is truly sad. Of course, looking through your phone makes you feel good because you get tiny hits of dopamine each time you score likes or see something that resonates with you.

But that shouldn't be at the expense of you and your partner feeling good together - and the wave of euphoria you might get if only you put your phone down and indulged in some really good sex.

Tonight, why not try disconnecting from your device - or at least just use it to play romantic music while you reconnect with your significant other?