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Study: Smartphones Are Disrupting Sleep Patterns And The Economy

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(Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) – Sleep experts have found that light wavelengths smartphones or handheld tablets have, can disrupt the brain’s sleep-inducing hormone melatonin according to a report by Bloomberg.

Due to this, American are sleeping less which is causing a strain on public health and the economy.  Last year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced “insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic,” citing the “round-the-clock- access to technology” as a huge cause.

“We have biologically shifted ourselves so we can’t fall asleep earlier,” Charles Czeisler, a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, told Bloomberg. “The amazing thing is that we are still trying to get up with the chickens.”

The lack of sleep may interfere with a worker’s ability to focus causing them to be less productive which costs the economy.  According to a 2012 study, insomnia-related accidents in the workplace cost $31.1 billion each year.

“It’s a massive issue, particularly when you talk about technology,” said Sarah Loughran, a sleep researcher at the University of Wollongong, south of Sydney, explained to Bloomberg. “We’re not just talking about mobile phones — but iPads, TVs, laptops. A lot of these things are in the bedroom.”

Almost one-third of adults say they get less than six hours of sleep each night.  The CDC recommends seven to nine hours a night of sleep for adults and to go to bed at the same time each night.

 

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