Technology has been increasingly thriving over the past centuries. Lightbulbs, clocks, phones, computers, the internet, televisions, cars, washer machines, dryers, microwaves, ovens, guns, you name it. These amazing inventions have been making human life easier and better… or has it? Is all of this new technology affecting us negatively, which is making our health worse?
Studies show that the reliance and use of technology could actually affect your health in a bad way. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), sleep “can affect sleep deprivation and lack of sleep, the consequences… adversely affect their performance, mood, family relationships, the driving habits, sex life and general health of the individual”(Say 1). Most importantly, it affects a humans sleep. Texting, watching television, playing video games emailing, blogging, talking on the phone, and more before bedtime can skew the body’s sleeping patterns. Using technology before bed causes a human’s body to be more tired the following day(Say 1). Exhaustion could lead to bad working habits, unsafe driving, lack of effort, and more.
The reason why technology increases exhaustion is because of the exposure of light. According to Charles Czeisler, a Harvard Medical School Scientist, light affects a humans metabolism and the amount of melatonin released inside the body(Say1). Melatonin is a hormone that reduces the amount of sleep a person receives and it affects our ‘human clocks’, which messes up our sleeping patterns(Study 1).
The NSF has done studies in the past which have proven this theory. According to one of their studies, a survey showed that 95 participants used some sort of technology before bed and two-thirds of them admitted that they were tired throughout the week(Say 1). Studies then show that teenagers (ages 13-18) are the most vulnerable; 22% of the members that fit this category admitted to be constantly tired during the week(Say 1). Another study, conducted and written about in the journal Applied Ergonomics, showed that the exposure to technology/light decreased the amount of melatonin in the body(Study 1). The researchers gathered multiple volunteers and had them play games, watch television, and use other technology while measuring the amount of light that their eyes received(Study 1). After the study was conducted, they found that the light reduced their levels of melatonin by 22%, which has been consisted with other experiments.
I believe that this experiment is great since the researchers used a large and random selection of people. Also, since it is consistent with other experiments, it makes it seem more valid. However, the experiment could be flawed due to chance or confounding/third variables. Some confounding/third variables could of been other random exposures of light in the room, a persons health (how good or bad their eyes are), and the amount of sleep they got prior to the testing day.
What do you think?
“Say NO to Technology before Bedtime.” Say NO to Technology before Bedtime. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.
“Study Confirms That Gadgets Before Bed = Bad Idea.” SleepBetterorg Study Confirms That Gadgets Before Bed Bad Idea Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.