Designed by Rutmer Zijlstra for the Noun Project

Designed by Rutmer Zijlstra for the Noun Project

We know that looking at smartphones or laptops before bed can disrupt sleep, but did you know that it can also leave you unable to focus the next day? Melissa Korn over at the Wall Street Journal explains:

New research findings show [that reading and sending work email at night] also exhausts workers by morning and leaves them disengaged by the next afternoon. . . That means the way most knowledge workers do their jobs—monitoring their iPhones for notes from the boss long after the office day is done and responding to colleagues at all hours—ultimately makes them less effective, posit researchers from University of Florida, Michigan State University and University of Washington. . .

Using any kind of electronic device affects sleep quantity and focus the following day, but smartphones are especially draining. That’s partly because the always-on, always-handy phone the first device we turn to, says Christopher M. Barnes, an assistant professor of management at University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business and a co-author of the paper. Having a screen so close to our faces probably doesn’t help us prepare for sleep, he adds.

The obvious answer, but at times the most difficult to follow through on, is to put down the phone or laptop down two hours prior to sleep.

Read the rest of the article here.

  • Dmitriy Tarasov

    It’s not a big surprise that staring at a bright screen late at night negatively impacts your sleep. Which leads to exhaustion. So it’s not about answering emails, it’s about regime and discipline.

  • FDRliberal

    This makes a lot of sense, but giving up late emails for me would be about as easy as giving up Diet Coke and iced coffee.

  • Lisa

    Who the hell checks their work email in the evenings? If you do, you’re a glutton. Unless the work you do is a matter of life and death, leave work at work and spend your time at home doing things you enjoy.

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