×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Study Shows Technology May Inhibit Good Sleep

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the it's-hard-to-sleep-without-all-the-beeps dept.

Communications 155

An anonymous reader points out a study by the National Sleep Foundation which looked at the relationship between sleep habits and the use of electronic communications tech in the hour before bedtime. Dr. Michael Grasidar of Flinders University said, "My research compares how technologies that are ‘passively received' such as TVs and music versus those with ‘interactive' properties like video games, cell phones and the Internet may affect the brain differently. The hypothesis is that the latter devices are more alerting and disrupt the sleep-onset process." The study found that people who frequently send text messages or use their laptops before bed were less likely to report getting a good night's sleep (PDF) than people who don't. "While these technologies are commonplace, it is clear that we have a lot more to learn about the appropriate use and design of this technology to complement good sleep habits," said the NSF's David Cloud.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

155 comments

It's not my fault! (1)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414142)

I blame Hulu and Netflix.

Re:It's not my fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414166)

Yep, I can't fall asleep now without watching a few netflix tv shows on my netbook.

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414180)

Actually, according to the summary, it's not Hulu and Netflix that cause the problem -- it's interactivity which is to blame (video games, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414212)

Which to some people, radio/tv/hulutube playing in the background helps people sleep.

Which for me sucks, because my roommate does this and I need silence :(

Re:It's not my fault! (2)

yashachan (1422227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414630)

Tell your roommate to use headphones.

My boyfriend watches TV on his laptop to help him sleep, but he uses headphones so that my falling asleep isn't affected by it. I had to get used to the extra brightness, but that didn't take very long. I couldn't fall asleep at all, though, when he didn't use headphones.

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414756)

I can't find citation, but i remember a peer reviewed article about how even dim lights (e.g. street light through curtains) affect quality of sleep even though they don't wake you up...

Re:It's not my fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415008)

My wireless headphones were the best thing I'd ever bought for listening in bed.

Re:It's not my fault! (2, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415344)

Get him to fuck you again and you should both sleep ok. If that doesn't work, repeat until you are both too exhausted to do it again.

Geez, kids these days...

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

i-linux123 (2003962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414858)

I need some background noise too. I think it has to do with the way I've never bothered investing specifically in quiet fans on PC's I've built, and as they've become more and more powerful they just became louder until the point where I need some background noise to fall asleep. Otherwise I can hear a bit of stuff from neighbors and such, and those background noises overlaid on the "loud scilence" is annoying. I recommend Sleep Analyzer http://maemo.org/downloads/product/Maemo5/sleepanalyser/ [maemo.org] , (THere's also the iPhone app), so you can see to some extent what the noise looks like during sleep, my comfort zone is with a constant hum.

Re:It's not my fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415126)

Is there an android equivalent?
Did some searching on market to no avail.

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

i-linux123 (2003962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415490)

I don't know. You might be able to find a web-based equivalent, though I wouldn't recommend sending all sound to some random place on the net. Since the app is open-source it should be fairly easy to port too.

Re:It's not my fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415608)

Actually, it works by recording movement.

Re:It's not my fault! (4, Interesting)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414606)

And one has to wonder if it's actually the technology or the person on the other end of the computer that's causing lost sleep. If I spend an hour before I go to bed dealing with work email (which at this hour is largely generated in Taiwan/China), I don't sleep well, only because those idiots are screwing up and this comes back to me.

Whereas in the pre-computer era I guess you left work at a reasonable hour and had some down-time before bed. Although I hesitate to guess that one filling my job in this era would have been up equally long identifying and requesting fixes to mistakes made overseas and sending them a long, angry memo, before driving home and sleeping.

So maybe the real cause of lost sleep is the blurring line between work life and personal life and/or the increasing productivity demands of a shitty economy and a lack of viable options for employees?

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

besalope (1186101) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415016)

Yeah we have similar at our work, only we deal with India instead :( Some of the workers understand the job and are excellent, others... not so much.

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

ghjm (8918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415052)

Well, you're comparing now with 50 or 100 years ago, which is the blink of an eye in evolutionary terms. There's no reason to suppose that industrial age factory workers slept particularly well, or any better than we do now. Hunter/gatherers on the African savannah no doubt slept like babies, on the nights they didn't get eaten by a leopard.

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415376)

Hunter/gatherers on the African savannah no doubt slept like babies, on the nights they didn't get eaten by a leopard.

I imagine it would have been more the other way around.

Re:It's not my fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415492)

Interesting points. Time to go look at pr0n so I can sleep like a baby. Thanks Technology!

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415746)

So maybe the real cause of lost sleep is the blurring line between work life and personal life and/or the increasing productivity demands of a shitty economy and a lack of viable options for employees?

I deliberately make sure I do not do any work after 8 PM unless there is an emergency (READ: Something had better be on fire) for this very reason.

But I've taken to reading before trying to sleep of late, I read for 1 to 3 hours yet I'm having a harder time sleeping then when I spent the same time reading things on the internet or playing video games.

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414760)

Actually, according to the summary, it's not Hulu and Netflix that cause the problem -- it's interactivity which is to blame (video games, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

So is watching porn before bed interactive or not? ;-)

Re:It's not my fault! (2)

ncgnu08 (1307339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414482)

I have been using F.lux for about 3 months and I can say it makes a huge difference in my ability to get to sleep. I never had a problem sleeping, it was falling asleep that took me a while. Now, when I go to bed, I go to sleep within minutes. I don't have to be in the dark for half an hour - an hour before getting to sleep, unless my wife is feeling frisky, which is something I can't complain about (although probably not a problem for most /.'ers). Yes F.lux could be a placebo effect, but after three months I feel fairly certain it is the bright light from the monitor, not the actual game/application being used. I actually start yawning while playing a game/watching Hulu or ESPN, which would never happen before I installed F.lux. My old CRT television has never bothered me, as my wife likes to fall asleep to the tv, but the bright light of my laptop monitor is quite different from the light of our tv. I wonder if any of you guys have noticed a difference with CRT screens versus the new LED/LCD/plasma televisions? I assume they would be much brighter, at least for a new LED screen. I know the LED and LCD screes are brighter, but I remember reading it has something to do with the type of light, not just the brightness. Any feedback about the tv's?

Re:It's not my fault! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414584)

fuck your wife, asshole

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414662)

he already said he does, though I'm not sure if it's in the asshole...

Re:It's not my fault! (1)

ncgnu08 (1307339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414882)

Thanks for showing some of us actually read the posts we respond to darthdavid, as I thought I was pretty clear about that part with "...which is something I can't complain about...." I'm going to bet the anonymous coward falls under the "...although probably not a problem for most /.'ers" although I was mainly joking about that part. And to answer your question darthdavid that is only when she is feeling really, really frisky ;-)

Article summary (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415320)

The people who are so obsessed with twitter and facebook that they bring the laptops to bed, can't get to sleep as well as normal well adjusted people who just watch a little TV before bed. Guess which group also has a better relationship with their spouses?

TV=good (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414158)

Funny to read a scientist referring to sittin' on the couch vegging on TV as, basically, the good ol' days.

It's 1:09am London time. (3, Insightful)

bbtom (581232) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414170)

And I'm reading Slashdot.

Case closed.

Re:It's 1:09am London time. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414230)

1:13 here in Bedford and I've got a cold. Beat that.

Re:It's 1:09am London time. (1)

Arty2 (1742112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414256)

3:15 here and Greece and going for an all-nighter, should I worry?

Re:It's 1:09am London time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414292)

Greece? Yes, you should worry.

Re:It's 1:09am London time. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414260)

To be fair though, nobody should be able to sleep with a stomach full of English food.

Re:It's 1:09am London time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414434)

Nobody in England actually ate today, we have to prepare ourselves for stuffing about 93 pancakes down our gullets tomorrow. (Pancake day! Hurrah!!)

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414198)

So, they're just now figuring out that something interactive - that requires your thoughts and input - puts you in a wakeful state? While, say, TV on the other hand puts you to sleep - you know, like a "couch potato".
There's a reason I dislike non-interactive entertainment, I'm not a vegetable.

Re:Seriously? (2)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414330)

From other studies, I am certain the issue is the light emitted.

For sleeping, your brain expects dim, red light. Bright, blueish light (what typical lamps, LEDs and displays emit) wakes your brain up or keeps it awake. The effect of turning on the light when going to the bathroom is a shock to the brain that takes quite long (1 hour I believe) to recover from (getting back to sleep).

Good advice is to go to sleep early, and wake up early, to use dim red lights rather than blue lamps in the evening. Try it out and you'll feel more refreshed.

Re:Seriously? (4, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414428)

I wonder if the advent of modern LED lighting will allow a programmed shift toward red lights in the evening and a shift from red to blue bias in the morning to allow gradual shutdown and awakening, rather than the shock of an alarm clock or bright lights.

Re:Seriously? (5, Informative)

bbtom (581232) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414614)

There's already an app you can get for Windows, Linux and OS X called F.lux which changes the colour temperate of your screen based on your time and location. http://stereopsis.com/flux/ [stereopsis.com]

Just installed it and my screen has a very strong yellowy-pinky tint as it is 2am.

Re:Seriously? (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414644)

I actually go the opposite way with my marine fish tanks. I have time-controlled LED lighting rigs over those tanks that use specific wavelengths of red and blue lighting to avoid the wavelengths that cause algae growth (mainly around green). As the day cycle shifts to night cycle, the output spectrum shifts to all blue - to simulate moonlight and encourage night time activities in the corals, fish, etc.

Then what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414210)

I cant drink coffee, watch tv, surf on my iPad, go for a walk, take a bath. Now what am i supposed to do for the last hour? Sit in a chair and stare at the wall?

Re:Then what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414316)

You did all of that at the same time? Weirdo.

Re:Then what? (2)

_merlin (160982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414396)

Have sex, you idiot. That's the best thing to do before going to sleep.

Re:Then what? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414478)

Best time to have sex is in the morning, afternoon, or an hour or two after dinner. I'm always too tired to have sex by the time I feel like going to sleep.

Re:Then what? (2)

darkonc (47285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414536)

Best time to have sex is when your SO is in the mood.

Then again, I did have one girlfriend who never let me live down the time I started snoring mid-sex, so -- yeah, you can really be too tired to have sex, but it's pretty rare.

Re:Then what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414648)

I'm diagnosed with hypersomnia. I'm probably narcoleptic.
Suddenly falling asleep during sex, eating, or important conversations is a regular occurence without my medication (I take modafinil). With the medication, I have more warning and can try to push my brain back from a conscious REM-like pre-sleep state to a regular conscious waking state (typically a focused, rather than relaxed, one; relaxed states aren't conducive to interrupting the patterns of falling asleep).
My fiance felt rather insulted the first time I conked out during sex. Now, she usually just thinks it's funny and wakes me back up. :-D

Re:Then what? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415072)

Sit in a chair and stare at the wall?

Have you tried reading "A la recherche du temps perdu", "War and peace" or "Crime and punishment"?

Re:Then what? (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415636)

Crime and Punishment is a fantastic book. If you want something to put you to sleep, try a math book (not saying math is uninteresting, merely that READING a math theory book is mind-numbing).

Re:Then what? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415704)

Crime and Punishment is a fantastic book.
If you want something to put you to sleep, try a math book (not saying math is uninteresting, merely that READING a math theory book is mind-numbing).

Happens exactly the opposite for me. With maths, I found myself trying to almost construct a visual interpretation behind the math theory. In regards with Crime and Punishment.... I reckon that my empathic abilities suck.

I dunno about that (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414224)

Slashdot's been pretty damn good a putting my to sleep the last few years...

Correlation is not causation (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414322)

The article refers to a poll, not an experiment. Could it be that those who have trouble sleeping are more likely to engage in interactive entertainment?

Personally, I very, very rarely have trouble sleeping. I usually find myself getting too tired for interactive entertainment about an hour before I want to sleep. I'd *love* to be able to continue playing video games up until lights out, but I just don't have the energy. Those who have lots of energy will keep playing/blogging/hacking.

Re:Correlation is not causation (3, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415044)

Personally, I very, very rarely have trouble sleeping. I usually find myself getting too tired for interactive entertainment about an hour before I want to sleep. I'd *love* to be able to continue playing video games up until lights out, but I just don't have the energy. Those who have lots of energy will keep playing/blogging/hacking.

Based on your /. ID, I reckon most of your inability to continue playing and low energy levels might be age related.

Re:Correlation is not causation (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415048)

Quality of sleep usually isn't an issue until the onset of early middle age or so.

For me games are not much of a problem, and I can wind down from programming fairly quickly, but if I do work e-mail within a couple hours of going to bed, I'll toss and turn worrying about work. Arguing about politics or job hunting before bed doesn't help me either - anything that gets the mind racing.

Running less than a few hours before bed also keeps me up.

As for the correlation != causation argument, it's very easy to experiment on yourself by intentionally avoiding things that keep you awake and see if it helps - for me it certainly does. If you have no trouble sleeping under any conditions, don't worry about it!

Re:Correlation is not causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415660)

I can totally see it being the person. I just know MANY females (not to gender-ize) that cannot leave a text message unread. Whether it's at a mall, coffee house, etc. Just having their phone out and knowing there is a text on there, they are helpless. I've seen this countless times out in the dating scene. I actually had to put up a sign in my apartment "cell phone free zone" and make people abide by it, because people were more into their mobiles than in person conversation. Yes, I've walked away from dates at coffee shops because they wouldn't leave their phone alone for 5 minutes.

Re:Correlation is not causation (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415812)

I think the topic was about getting a *good* night's sleep, not about trouble falling asleep.

I'm not vouching for the poll, just making a distinction. Perhaps you're not having problems sleeping, but the sleep you're getting isn't very good? (That might also be why you just don't have the energy.)

In other words, maybe those who use interactive technology just before bed are still able to fall asleep, but it's worthless sleep. Perhaps our brains are still too excited because of the interactivity to do whatever they're normally supposed to do when we sleep.

If nothing else, consider that the human brain is the result of some 1 billion years of evolution... and all but the last 10 years have had technology-free sleep.

Easing into sleep (1)

Troll-Under-D'Bridge (1782952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414372)

This discovery simply extends the idea that restful activities like reading promote sleep better than do physically and mentally demanding activities like heavy exercise. Of course, working yourself to (physical and mental) exhaustion may have the same effect as lying in bed and reading a book.

LET'S GET SOME FACTOIDS IN THIS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414400)

A lot of new and interesting factoids appeared today regarding the battle between the smartphone operating systems. At this juncture, it appears as if the Google Android OS is beginning to move ahead of the competition while RIM has actually maintained pace with the Apple iPhone. Microsoft Phone 7 and Symbian are in the back of the pack. Way in the back. This is appropriate, since Nokia will be swapping Symbian for Windows Phone 7.

In older columns, I predicted that the scene will boil down to two players: probably Android and Apple. But I'm not surprised that the Blackberry hangs tough. Users love that phone.

Overlooked in the commotion, though, is the transformative nature of the entire market. The whole world is looking at these changes. Wherever you go, the hip, trendy phone users around the globe will most often be seen with one of these North American smartphones. And to be honest the hippest of the hip will have an iPhone.

I find this particularly amusing, because I recall a constant barrage of anti-American accusations during the late 1990s, whereby we were told that the mobile phone world has passed us by. When I was doing Silicon Spin, a cable show for TechTV, guests would often arrive having just visited Japan, carrying some dingbat phone, such as the Docomo, and singing its praises.

Whenever you read International tech media, you'd hear about all the great things going on with mobile technology everywhere in the world, except in the U.S.

You'd go to meetings and conferences and hear speakers lament about how the U.S. was so far behind in mobile phone technology. The common accusation was that we were pathetic laggards. Losers. This mocking and teasing continued right up until the announcement of the iPhone. Then everything changed.

The fact is we were never really that far behind, and most of the "great" phones around the world were gimmicky and often just plain dumb. The Docomo comes to mind. The first time I saw one its earmark seemed to be a lot of animated gifs for icons. All that was missing was the cat running back and forth at the bottom of the display.

Whatever the case, I can assure you that it was a little more than annoying to listen to what seemed like the entire universe deriding Americans about cell phonesâ"a technology we invented. We were the redhead stepchild of the tech world because our phones were not doing much more than making phone calls. How lame is that? Thus, we were world class losers.

Gee, I guess that's changed, eh? If you aren't using an iPhone in London, then you are probably using an Android phone. That's unless you are a loser, laggard, or slow-poke.

This particular leapfrog is because of American ingenuity and was led by the folks at Apple. It's kind of been overlooked, however, in all the confusion and classic fighting for market share. Most people seem to have forgotten the history and don't even realize that they witnessed one of the great tech come-from-behind victories ever.

To be honest about it, it even surprised me. It was like a sporting event where one whole team was replaced with another team to "show them how it's done." The new guys then decimate the competition.

It's expected that within just a few years the entire market will consist of varieties of smartphones, whose designs and operation were all invented in the U.S. and Canada. And we won't have to gloat about it.

Docomo, hah! Well, maybe the goat balls suck a little, el chupbacabre.

Go mental stimulation! (1)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414456)

I happen to love being "on" as much as possible - in an aware state, perceiving as much as possible, living as much as I can with my limited lifespan.

So much so, that I tend to almost always avoid anything that will interrupt this process, like mind-altering substances from alcohol to coffee.

I can certainly appreciate the need for sleep to recuperate, and silence as time to reflect - but I don't see mental stimulation as some venal sin, or carving the occasional slice of time away from 8-hour sleep blocks as destructive act.

You only get so much life - sleep is mostly just what I have to do in order to get to more awareness - the little slices of death that remind us how limited our time is.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Go mental stimulation! (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414754)

Yes but minimising your sleep will minimise your awareness. So sacrificing a few hours of extra sleep in order to be even more alert in your wakeful hours is often a good idea.

tech isn't the problem, it's just a similar factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414534)

this study is worthless. technology in and of itself has nothing to do with inhibition of sleep. it's obvious that ANY **activity** that 'demands' attention will keep your brain active longer to a point where you ignore / forget about sleep.

most of us have experienced this playing games late into the night and the next morning, where you're focusing so much on an activity such as repeatedly seeking, focusing on once found, and finally shooting an enemy. or, more infamously, focusing on that "one more turn" in civilization or a similar game where there are a multitude of various actions to take to further your goals.

but you can say the same about someone in, say, a war zone. they would certainly 'forget' about sleep if a bunch of bullets are flying around, demanding that they stay alert if they want to live. also, even if you're tired, if you suddenly start playing a sport that's constantly active, like soccer (as opposed to slow paced baseball), then you'll focus your attention on tracking the movement of the ball and other players, and as a bonus the adrenalin kicks in. this all would continue until your body just "ran out of fuel" and you "crash" / pass-out rather than drift off slowly into sleep.

so where technology these days comes into play is simply that it provides more options for active participation rather than passiveness like television does. "One more instant message", "One more article (on /. , digg, reddit, whatever)", "One more comment in my favorite forum", "One more post to read / write on Facebook". but then you could say the same about the stereotypical teenage girl on the telephone late at night talking to her best friend about boys, or clothes, or whatever, like we did before all this fancy tech came along and became mainstream.

so what did this "researcher" actually "discover"? that people can lose track of time and forget / ignore being tired because they are engaged in an activity. and why did they not sleep "well"? probably because they simply didn't get ENOUGH sleep because they had to get up and go to work / school the next morning, OR, the activity itself (tech related or not) keeps playing in the mind after sleep, which is also not restful. DUH. so yeah, thanks captain obvious for that brilliant study of something we already knew.

Good Job I have ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414558)

Good job I have Porphyria [wikipedia.org] because I don't even have a "Normal" sleep schedule, it's all over the map.

I don't work in an office (basically impossible with severe Porphyria), so people are always asking me when I sleep because I send business emails 24/7, and am lucky to get a 5 hour night (starting about 4 or 5 am).

Thank goodness for 24/7 Tech accessibility!

hmm I can see the point, but then again... (1)

Nocturnal Deviant (974688) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414590)

I am CONSTANTLY fixing my sleep schedule, I have taken numerous different sleeping medications, but to be honest no matter what even after a ton of melatonin, i am still up and online, I know it has to do with having so much information so readily available, but it also probably has another type of sleeping disorder.

TL;DR There are too many factors.

probably more 'fight or flight' than anything (1)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414686)

If one's 'fight-or-flight' response is being constantly activated, it'd be hard to sleep.

Do you meditate or relax your body daily?

I used to have a ton of trouble falling asleep, but now I'm a consistent 12am->7:30am sleeper.

I noticed this ages ago (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414710)

I usually go to bed at around midnight. I noticed that if I worked late (right up until the point I went to bed) or played PC games until around the same time, I would simply be too wired to go to bed and just fall asleep.

Watching TV didn't seem to have the same effect though; I could stay up late watching the box and then walk into the bedroom and pretty much faceplant and sleep immediately.

I now try to have the PC off by 10pm to stop me getting tempted to just check one more email or have one last round of StarCraft 2, because of the effect it has on my ability to get to sleep easily at my preferred sleeping time.

Acectodal: YES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414718)

I have a sleeping disorder. I take meds for it which can actually cause insomnia. Don't ask, it doesn't make any bleepin' sense.

Anyways, I found that working on my computer or watching TV - which BTW I don't always do before sleeping - make it difficult to go to sleep. I light emitted from the screen is maybe 25% of the problem. I find if I'm computing or watching TV before going to sleep my mind is too engaged in this activity it makes it difficult to shut down my brain and be able to fall asleep.

I'd say it varies (1)

Roogna (9643) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414844)

Despite the studies, and as a tech guy and a lifetime insomniac I can say from experience that the -reasons- for the use can make a huge difference. This is true of books and older "tech" too. A exciting story on the written page that gets you thinking isn't going to put you to sleep near as well as something that's quiet and calming. I find surfing the web doesn't bother what sleep pattern I have much. On the other hand I avoid news sites like the plague for the 3-4 hours before bed as I know there's bound to be something that will just irritate me and keep me awake.

4 hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414892)

i thought the military proved a long time ago that people only need 4 hours sleep every 25 hours... And that we are addicted to sleep (for a lack of media?)

Re:4 hours (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414990)

i thought the military proved a long time ago that people only need 4 hours sleep every 25 hours... And that we are addicted to sleep (for a lack of media?)

For military, that highly likely true... You see, while in the army you are not suppose to think, only to react (at orders or at on how the tactical situation evolves)... with rest, the reflex-arcs recover much sooner than your central nervous system.

Administrative Support Professionals (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414938)

http://www.onetoughadmin.com

So rare, it's a super-power. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414996)

So the people who are active, thinking about things and taking part in activities are less likely to doze off than the lethargic couch-potato type?
...my common sense is tingling.

This guy needs to go to work at Amazon (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415038)

said the NSF's David Cloud.

Seriously! "Our family is so much cloud visionaries that we MADE IT OUR NAME."

Other "interactive" media? (2)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415106)

I recall reading some years ago that it's preferable to watch television or listen to radio in the hour before sleep than to read a book or solve crossword puzzles, for similar reasons to those stated in the summary. It's a pity the poll didn't include more traditional "interactive" media as well.

They're right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415142)

That's hilarious. Just the other morning, my wife came out as I was playing Starcraft 2 and reminded me that it was 2:30am and I should be getting some sleep. I guess technology *does* inhibit sleep.

Clearly ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415146)

technologies that are 'passively received' such as TVs

... the researcher failed to consider all the viewers who yell at Fox News.

read before bedtime (1)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415224)

I've started doing this again, and I find that it helps a great deal, even if it's techie stuff.

Really, _especially_ if it's techie stuff.

Solution to the Sleep Problem (1)

lackofsleep (1749320) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415254)

I used to watch movies with explicit sexual content before going to bed and had a lot of trouble. Ever since I switched to reading Slashdot before turning out the light, it's been no problem.

Known for 10 years (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415298)

I've had sleeping issues since high school about 10 years ago. Typically, I can't sleep until about 3 AM, and only get about 4 hours of solid rest. After that, I doze in and out of sleep for a couple hours.

I was in Africa for a bit, and regularly had no power - which meant no laptop. My sleep pattern improved drastically during those periods of time. However, the instant power was back I was using the laptop at night again. Immediately, the sleep issues returned. (Note that we did have a generator, so we still had lights and some appliances on when the power was out, but in general avoided turning anything unnecessary on unless we absolutely needed them, like computers).

I've reproduced the same behaviour in myself now that I'm in America. Cut out the laptop at night - start sleeping great in a few days. Re-introduce it: really, really rough week.

Re:Known for 10 years (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415810)

Yeah, I gotta agree with ya. If I have insomnia and give up trying to sleep for a while, reading online means I will be awake for 2-4 hours, but reading a book will generally mean I can get to sleep in 30-60 mins.

Re:Known for 10 years (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415814)

Oh, and I've been wondering if it's the light stimulation from screens too. Maybe kills the melatonin production?

Executive summary (1)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415538)

We all know TV is bad for you because it turns you into a lazy, passive couch potato. And now video games, cell phones and the Internet are bad for you because they ...don't.

Sigh (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415564)

I literally sleep in front of my computer. I sleep on a sleeping bag on the carpeted floor in front of two laptops attached to a 23" monitor between them. I wake up quite often at 3AM. Sleep is a problem, but I never really attributed it to the equipment. I turn off the monitors, put the laptop displays to sleep, and they don't beep during the night.

Wrong headline! (2)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415600)

OK, it's not the technology, it's the interactivity. The article makes that clear. I'm surprised that this is considered news, though. It's the reason I can sleep after cycling but not after fencing.

Other Things (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415912)

Wouldn't playing a good old fashioned game of Chess do the same thing? Why blame it on the electronic stuff when there are plenty of non-electronic things that can engage the mind.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...