It’s not exactly news that you should turn off your screen before bed to get better sleep. New research has shown, however, that not only could putting the phone down help you get better sleep, but ignoring that email from your boss at night could make you more productive in the morning.
Picture: Ava Rose
The research conducted by three separate universities found that monitoring your email at night actually resulted in less productivity the following day. Using your phone even 30 minutes before bedtime could result in not only decreased sleep quality, but drained productivity:
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.
It fits with our previous suspicions, but it probably bears repeating (since so many of us are so very, very bad at it): Put the phone away at night and save the work for the morning. You’re not getting more done by replying to that email before bed.
Smartphones Make You Tired and Unproductive, Study Says [Wall Street Journal via 99u]