Sleep is crucial to human beings. It can influence our well-being, and the lack of it can affect our behavior, promote disease and even affect public safety when drivers, transit operators and others deprive themselves. Sadly, it seems that getting a good’s night rest is even more elusive than ever. And the culprit could be that screen we take to bed with us.
It has been well-documented that staring at back-lit displays and screens within an hour of bedtime can interfere with our ability to doze off, as well as the overall quality of our sleep. So with the rise of consumer electronics and mobile devices, should it be any surprise that the sleep conundrum is worsening? Last year, the Centers for Disease Control warned that “Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic.” Things are no better this year: In February, the CDC, National Sleep Foundation and National Department of Transportation reported that 62 percent of American adults have sleep problems a few nights per week.
Based on the National Sleep Foundation’s data in the infographic below, the users most at risk could be the younger demographic. Groups ages 19-29 and 13-18 tend use their devices the most in bed across a variety of activities. The only category in which the oldest group — the 46-64 Baby Boomers — topped the list was for TV usage. (No surprise there. This is the Johnny Carson/Jay Leno-loving target audience, after all.)
Tech somehow still manages to barge in, even when young adults aren’t in the habit of streaming video, reading an e-book or playing games: One in five get woken up by texts, emails or calls at least a few nights per week.
Do you use your devices right before you go to bed? If so, let us know if you think this is affecting your sleep or not.