Smartphones Deprive Us Of Sleep

by Michele Farlow on February 10, 2014

Smartphones have become a part of everyday life for so many reasons. Whether we are checking an email, watching a TV show, or checking out the weather; most find it to be a great source of entertainment and helpful in our everyday life. We have come to rely on our smartphones for so many things that 20 years ago we would have to go to outside sources to find. As stated in Wirefly's blog Three Ways Your Smartphone Has Changed Your Life Around The House, we probably couldn't go a week without having a smartphone because of how much we take for granted the way a smartphone has changed our lives. What most of us probably do not think about is the fact that smartphones can actually hurt us as much as help us.

According to a study published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, researchers found that smartphone use after 9 p.m. was associated with decreased sleep quantity at night. That decreased sleep quantity was associated with morning depletion the next day, and morning depletion was associated with decreased work engagement for that day. The stimulation in the light coming from the smartphone combines with the overall stimulation that the brain gets from a smartphone; whether it be checking work email, engaging in a game, or even just browsing the web, makes a person's brain not shut off as quickly as it would if a person was just lying in bed in the dark. Therefore, causing the brain to not shutdown as easily and then making a person not sleep as well as they would if not having used their smartphone after 9pm.

In addition to smartphones hurting our sleep habits, it was also found that exposure to excessive light at night could also be hurting us from a health perspective. Researchers from the American Medical Association adopted a policy that recognizes that light at night could increase the risk of disease such as cancer.

While we all know that smartphone use is not something most of us plan of giving up on anytime soon, it might be beneficial to put our phones down at night and just enjoy the simplicities of our lives.