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What are the effects of

electronics use and the


Internet on sleeping
patterns?
BY DAVID PHILBIN

Hunter-Gatherer sleeping patterns


Depended

on the environment and weather

Members

in groups usually took turns to be


vigilant for predators during the night

Sleeping

patterns differed depending on your


role in the tribe/group

Depending

on circumstances no set bedtimes


eg. people slept when they felt like it

Segmented Sleep
Absence

of artificial light meant that nights


(especially during winter) were long and dark

First

and Second sleep

No

major advantage to staying up late at


night

People

wanted to get the most out of daylight

Change
Birth

of electricity and artificial lighting


changed the way we lived

Segmented

sleep became obsolete and the


standard 8 hours became the norm

People

started to socialise at night as cities


were well lit

Change contd.
Longer

working hours were introduced

Electricity

inspired technological innovation


and invention eg. light bulbs, radio, television
and computers etc.

Technological

advancement eventually led to


the emergence of what we know as The
Internet

What are the effects of electronics


use and the internet on sleeping
patterns?

Unstructured Hobby
Term
No

coined by Van de Bulck (2004)

definite start and end times

Portable

devices like laptops and mobile phones only


exacerbate the problem

Huge

number of popular television shows are on


between 9pm and Midnight

Internet

allows television shows, movies and music to


be streamed on-demand

Instant Messaging & Online Gaming


Apps

like Facebook messenger essentially make you


contactable 24/7

Study

across 15 schools found that almost universally,


children with gaming computers and televisions in their
bedroom went to bed later on weekdays (Leuven study on
Media and Adolescent health)

Study

of 1656 children in Belgium found that increased use


of mobile phones at bedtime raised the level of tiredness in
the morning and that being tired was ascribed to mobile
phones in 35% of the instances. (Van de Bulck, J. 2007)

Many

gamers have online friends in different time-zones

Instant Messaging & Online Gaming

One more game loop


You play the
game
Friend
asks
you to
play
one
more
game

About
to sign
out

Light and sleep

Melatonin is a chemical thats released by the body to regulate


sleep

Melatonin is usually suppressed during daylight then excreted


at night-time

Artificial lighting has been showed to affect melatonin


production (Gooley, J.J et al. 2010)

A study in America which looked at melatonin suppression from


artificial lighting found that melatonin suppression was highest
after being exposed to blue light from LEDs(West K.E et al.
2011)

Found in computer monitors, tablets, mobile phones.

What can we do?

Software available to dim your monitor light for you

As Adam Nash notes (2009)F.lux is a free utility that


adjusts the glow of your monitorboth the brightness and
tintbased on the time of day, dimming your monitor
later into the evening and tinting the screen colour based
on the kind of lighting you employ.

Amber tinted goggles or glasses may help to block out


the harmful blue light (Burkhart K, Phelps JR. 2009)

Try and keep your bedroom free of devices and pitchblack

What does the future hold?

The popularity of LEDS is growing

Cheap & efficient source of lighting

Further study is needed to look at LEDs affects on


sleep(West K.E et al. 2011)

Wearable devices will become increasingly common

Bedroom is not only a place of rest anymore

Electronics and the Internet will continue to cause


disruption to our sleep

Time to go to bed

Thanks
Thank
Any

you for your time

Questions?

References

http://anthropology.emory.edu/home/documents/worthman-lab/Ecol
ogy%20of%20Human%20sleep.pdf

http://lifehacker.com/5158832/flux-changes-your-screen-brightness-bytime-of-day

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3047226/?report=classic

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16964783

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20030543

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1978406/

http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=25929

http://jap.physiology.org/content/110/3/619