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Nighttime Smartphone Use Disturbs Sleep and Productivity

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Many of us are guilty of keeping our smartphones close to us after work and not always just for social reasons. So, is it wrong to cram in some extra work after hours?

What if an important email regarding a big project comes through? You just have to check it and maybe spend some time on your phone to make certain things are running smoothly, right? Not quite. In fact, a study shows just how wrong that is. The University of Washington’s Foster School of Business decided to test how much working on your phone late at night affects your sleep and productivity the next day. RedOrbit reported on the surprising results:

Smartphones are bad for sleep, and sleep is very important to effectiveness as an employee.

The study used 82 mid and high level managers that completed daily surveys for two weeks. Results showed that using their smartphones late at night disturbed sleep, which made them tired and less productive at work the following day. Next, researchers used 161 employees who worked at varying types of jobs, including workers with no management titles or duties. They included television, phone, and computer or tablets, along with late night phone use. Results showed that the smartphone was the most disruptive of them all.

smartphone affects sleep and productivity

© Flickr user planetchopstick

The lead researcher of the project, Christopher Barnes, who is the assistant professor of management at the UW’s Foster School of Business, stated that smartphones are perfect for interrupting sleep. By keeping us mentally engaged, we can’t really shut off and relax, which allows for deep sleep. Not only that, but smartphones affect sleep hygiene as well, which are habits that help us to fall asleep and stay asleep. Along with the mental aspect, blue light comes from our phones that messes with our melatonin levels, which is a pretty important chemical that promotes sleep.

So what’s the solution? We’ve delved into the impact the constant use of technology has on worker productivity before. Disconnect and shut off at night. Find ways to relax without the use of electronics. Looking for ways to improve your efficiency? Reach out to our business process improvement consultants for more information!

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Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea transplanted from Illinois to South Carolina. She loves to write, read, and spend time with her dog and her family. Alyssa is very active on social media. She has been part of the AccelaWork team since 2013.
Alyssa Shea

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  • http://www.robbyslaughter.com Robby Slaughter

    Great post, Alyssa! I’ve been trying to cut out my late-night smartphone use myself.

    Late night should be for relaxing and sleeping!

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