Smartphones and tablets have allowed us to stay always connected and get our emails and other updates within seconds. Sadly, there’s a downside to it as a new study shows that using mobile devices late at night can kill your productivity the next day.
The study was conducted as part of a research at University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. The study was divided into two parts. In the first part, 82 managers were asked to complete multiple surveys each day for two consecutive weeks.
In the second part, 161 employees were asked to fill out the same surveys and also divulge their TV viewing and smartphone/tablet usage habits. After analyzing the data from these surveys, the researchers found out that such individuals who used their mobile devices to read emails and perform similar chores till late at night had very low productivity levels the next day.
This is a result of both, psychological and physiological, reasons. According to Christopher Barnes, an assistant professor and lead of the research team, “Unfortunately, smartphones are almost perfectly designed to disrupt sleep. Because they keep us mentally engaged with work late into the evening, they make it harder to psychologically detach from the most pressing cares of the day so that we can relax and fall asleep.”
He then reveals the exact physiological reasons why late-night smartphone usage disrupts our sleep, “Perhaps the most difficult aspect of smartphones to avoid is that they expose us to light, including blue light. Even small amounts of blue light inhibit the sleep-promoting chemical melatonin, meaning that the displays of smartphones are capable of producing this effect.”
The study comes up with recommendations that employers must ensure that they don’t send out late night emails and alerts to their employees. This inevitably interferes with their sleep so that the very next day, they are not as productive as they normally should be.
Courtesy: Daily Mail