Two recent studies contradict what we’ve been thinking so far. In recent years, a number of studies have shown that digital devices have a detrimental effect on our sleep. But two new scientific papers claim the exact opposite. According to new studies in adults and children, a nighttime check-up before bed does not change the quality or duration of sleep at all.
the first Experiment – Experiment Published in the Journal of Sleep Research. The researchers asked fifty-eight adults to monitor their sleep and time spent in front of a screen. Surprising results were obtained: sleep quality was not affected by the use of digital devices at bedtime, in fact, the duration of sleep was improved. But it was also noted that the time spent in front of the screen was very important and that the use of the smart device was not accompanied by other activities. So in this case, if we only look at the screen and not for too long, we will rest sooner and sleep more restfully. At least the subjects confirmed this.
Watching a podcast or listening to a podcast before bed is a passive and reassuring activity that improves certain aspects of sleep.
Lindsey Hahn, co-author of the study.
The second study Published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine. 32 adults examined social media use and the effect of relaxation exercises (from phone and laptop) at bedtime. The data showed that using Instagram or Twitter half an hour before bed did not affect sleep quality. Certainly, listening to relaxation exercises on a phone or other smart device has improved the quality and length of sleep.
Although the results appear positive, the researchers caution that quantity can compromise quality: Hours of media use delays bedtime and has adverse effects. It is always advised to limit the use of smart devices in the evening to get enough restful sleep. These two studies complement a study published in 2018 by Andrew Przybylski, a researcher in psychology at the University of Oxford. He studied the relationship between sleep and screen use in 50,000 children and found that time spent with a digital device affected the amount of sleep: the hour spent in front of each screen reduced sleep by three to eight minutes. But he also found that it was not digital screen time that had the greatest impact on children’s sleep, but the contextual factors surrounding it.
Perhaps the most important conclusion is that the relationship between screen use and sleep is complex and we are still aware of the implications. The complexity of the topic is compounded by the fact that results vary with age and screen use. Lindsey Hahn says people tend to worry about the health effects of screens, but the new findings show that controlled media use can also be beneficial.
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