Reporting Natalie Nyhus
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — These days we’re never too far away from our cell phones and computers, and while technology may help you be more productive at work, it can have an opposite effect on your sleep.
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg polled more than 4,100 people between the ages of 20 and 24 about their technology use.
It turns out using a computer on a regular basis at night is not only linked to sleep disorders but also stress and some symptoms of depression.
The study found people who are always reaching for their phones experienced the most severe symptoms.
These results go along with data from previous research, which links depression to frequent online chatting and checking email.
Researchers say the reasons for this phenomenon vary, but it’s likely that staying too connected keeps the mind from slowing down enough for the natural sleep cycles to occur.
Also light, such as the glow from your computer screen, suppresses melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep.
So how early should you turn off your computer and stop messing with your phone? The experts say at least an hour before you go to bed. Some even recommend at least 2 hours.