Who amongst you have never experienced staying up late just to browse your newsfeed on Facebook or just to play online games on your mobile phone? Admit or not, we are somewhat addicted to doing these things and having broadband Internet just snowballs it further.
Sleep deprivation is an ever-increasing problem in some of the developed countries. In worst case scenarios, this can cause impaired cognition and may result in some serious consequences.
The reasons for this shortage of sleep can be attributed to so many factors. For instance, there is overtime at work, stress, and interpersonal relationships. In a recent study, it was claimed that access to broadband Internet is partly to be blamed for this occurrence.
Researchers Discover a New-found Cause of Sleep Deprivation
To find out more about this growing problem, Francesco Billari, who is a professor of demography at Milan’s Bocconi University, led a research team to study the correlation in Germany, a country which has an extensive survey data on the technology use and sleeping pattern of its citizens. According to a 2016 Report, Germany had lost about 200,000 working days because of insufficient sleep, which amounted to an economic loss of $60 billion or about 1.6% of the country’s GDP.
Billari, along with colleagues Luca Stella from Bocconi University and Osea Giuntella from the University of Pittsburgh, published their study in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. In their study, they found that having access to broadband Internet is one of the causes of the sleep shortage that is widespread today.
In a study funded by the European Research Council, it was stated that individuals with broadband Internet tend to sleep 25 minutes less than individuals who don’t have broadband Internet. As a matter of fact, they are less likely to sleep for about 7 to 9 hours, which is the recommended amount of sleep by the scientific community. Moreover, they are also less likely to be satisfied with their sleep.
Who are Most Likely to be Susceptible
Now, this is typically true for individuals who both are facing time constraints during the day, such as having school or work and are engaged in a constant and uninterrupted use of electronic devices during night time.
“Digital temptations may lead some people to delay their sleep time, which ultimately decreases the duration of sleep for individuals who are not able to compensate for later bedtime since they wake up early in the morning,” Professor Billari explained.
The temptation that some individuals are susceptible to actually varies depending on the age group they are included in. For teenagers and young adults, or those who are aged 13 to 30, they are almost certainly prone to spending most nights playing computer games or watching TV or videos, whereas older adults, or those who are aged 31 to 59, are inclined to spending most of their evenings using their personal computer and smartphones.
The Conclusion of the Study
Upon the conclusion of their study, the researchers were able to finally determine how sleep deprivation is connected to broadband Internet access by means of comparing this to high-speed Internet penetration in a country.
What the researchers found is that broadband Internet access encourages excessive electronic media usage, which is proven to have damaging effects on sleep quality and duration. In addition, these effects were mostly visible in younger age demographics.
Indeed, having access to a high-speed Internet makes it very tempting to stay up and play games or surf the web. However, we should also be aware of the detrimental effects that it may bring to our bodies. In order to prevent further damage from happening, there should be an awareness of the importance of having a quality sleep. Let’s promote healthier sleep for everyone’s well-being.