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Poor sleep health: How digitization disrupts sleep


Electronic devices in the bedroom: digitization disturbs restful sleep

Lack of sleep is a health hazard. According to studies, those who do not get enough rest at night have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. As a recent survey now shows, electronic devices such as smartphones make a significant contribution to preventing many people from finding restful sleep.

Negative effects of digitization

Years ago, a study showed that increasing digitalization is putting a strain on family life and health. Other studies have also confirmed the negative effects of digitalization on health. Restful sleep is also disturbed. As a recent survey shows, electronic devices such as smartphones or tablets in the bedroom ensure that millions of citizens do not get enough rest at night.

Smartphones and the like are robbing millions of people of their sleep

The Barmer health insurance company had a poll carried out by the polling institute Ipsos Observer on the occasion of the day of sleep (June 21), which shows that smartphones or tablets in the bedroom regularly rob millions of people in Germany.

As the health insurance company reports in a message, 33 percent of those who have electronic devices permanently in their bedrooms stay up often or always longer than intended.

Of those who manage without electronics in the bedroom, this is only 15 percent. 36 percent of the population also complain of problems falling asleep.

Good sleep is a prerequisite for physical and mental health

“Digitization offers enormous opportunities and potential in everyday life. Our survey on sleep health in Germany also shows that it makes sense not to be online all the time, ”says Prof. Dr. Christoph Straub, CEO of Barmer.

This is important because good sleep is a prerequisite for physical and mental health. However, 38 percent of respondents only sleep six hours or less in a typical work week.

However, the survey, for which 4,000 people nationwide were surveyed online, also shows that 18 percent are completely satisfied with their sleep.

The first look is the cell phone

According to the results, electronic means of communication accompany the Germans from the first minute of the day. 30 percent of those surveyed are still active in the media in bed, 28 percent do this at breakfast and another 19 percent shortly before leaving the apartment.

At 65 percent, the smartphone is most often used as a medium before getting up. Radio and television only have ten and nine percent respectively.

On the other hand, just before sleep, the television with 36 percent use is in front of the smartphone, which only 29 percent of Germans use in bed.

"These usage habits of electronic media in the bedroom are not surprising given the fact that almost 40 percent of the respondents have smartphones and televisions there frequently or permanently," said Straub.

"Even with PC and laptop this is still 21 percent." In contrast, tablets and e-book readers played a comparatively minor role.

After all, 39 percent of the respondents stated that they at least tend to consciously avoid using electronic devices in the bedroom.

Stress and private worries also disturb healthy sleep

The survey also reveals that, in addition to digitalization, private worries and stress are obstacles to healthy sleep. 39 percent of the respondents cited this as the cause of a disturbance in their sleep.

Health problems are the second most important disruptive factor with 34 percent, followed by professional problems (33 percent).

Most of those affected by sleep disorders (26 percent) suffer from problems falling asleep and staying asleep. Almost half of them (45 percent) were at the doctor's, and in six out of ten cases the diagnosis confirmed a sleep disorder. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Sleep deprivation and memory problems. Robbert Havekes. TEDxDenHelder (August 2020).