Impact of Mobiles on Sleep
Following a recent study conducted by the University of California, Irvine, researchers declared that a lack of sleep is linked to an increased level of online browsing, including checking social media websites such as Facebook.
The teams’ interest was directed at how sleep duration could affect internet use, opposed to how internet use affects sleep. The team recruited 76 UCI students and monitored them over a one-week period.
Using specific logging software the team were capable of monitoring the participants’ computers and smartphones to see how often they spoke on the phone, text, or used applications.
Their behaviour, activities and levels of stress were monitored by dedicated sensors.
Participants were required to complete a survey every morning to document their sleep, as well as filing an end-of-day survey in the evening. The participants were also asked to complete a general questionnaire and take part in an interview.
Further data was collected by asking participants during the week about their mood, work engagement level, and the perceived difficulty level of the task they were currently completing.
The team also looked at the idea of “sleep debt”, the accumulate difference between the amount of sleep needed and the amount experienced.
Gender, age, university workload, and course deadlines were all factors of the outcome. Results showed a direct connection between a chronic lack of sleep, a poor mood, lower productivity, and also more time spent browsing Facebook.
Researchers were also able to conclude that not enough sleep leads people to be more easily distracted, with their attention flicking from computer screens and apps.
“When you get less sleep, you’re more prone to distraction,” said lead researcher Gloria Mark, “If you’re being distracted, what do you do? You go to Facebook. It’s lightweight, it’s easy, and you’re tired.”
The impact of technology on quality of sleep is a topic shown in many previous studies, with a study published in the Journal of Child Neurology finding that teenagers who persist on texting at night after they have switched out the lights experience lesser quality sleep and poorer grades than those who text with the lights on.
Light from the screens can affect the release of melatonin which in turn can affect the quality of sleep.