Why sleep and technology don’t mix
by Jonathan Kevin Castillo
Since childhood, we’ve been constantly reminded to get enough sleep and there are good reasons for that. Numerous studies have shown that getting enough sleep improves learning and memory, avoids irritability, moodiness, diseases and weight gain. In short, having enough sleep offers more health benefits that contributes much to our overall function and productivity.
But when we talk about function and productivity, doesn’t technology give us the same thing? With what numerous gadgets and devices can do, it is impossible not to be productive at all. Idleness had become a thing of the past. Imagine, when there is nothing left to do, we automatically get our devices. Sleep and technology may somehow give us similar benefits and yet both are so different which may lead us to ask can technology and sleep go together?
Believe it or not, having modern technologies put us into risk of counter productivity as well. Social media sites, for instance, can be addictive for a number of reasons. Because of it, many have developed the constant urge to check up on what their “friends” are up to even late at night. Along with other things such as YouTube from viewing failed ‘Do-It-Yourself’ videos to the next rap battle, are just some small examples why some of us sacrifice sleep. Without a doubt, sometime in the near future something else will provide high entertainment value that will keep most of us wide awake at night. The widespread accessibility to the Internet and mobile devices adds fuel to the fire. Smartphones and tablets are easier to carry around than the traditional desktop or laptop. At night, some can just easily roll over to one side, lift their phone with one hand and start spending the next few minutes or even hours checking updates and whatnots.
But it’s not always about that, isn’t it? Modern technologies have indeed made life easier. Instead of spending extra hours in the office, unfinished work can be accomplished at home through the use of the Internet. Some people send emails even late at night; while others wait for a reply just to end up sending another email until the wee hours of the morning.
The Internet isn’t the only culprit. Video games give a large contribution in robbing us hours of sleep. Movies and televisions play a big part too. All these things are habit forming and if uncontrolled will soon lead to addiction. The result is always shown in the morning after. It may feel alright for a time; but it would be detrimental in the long run, affecting personality, work ethic, and so much more – much more that even a strong, black coffee cannot fix.
Sleep is a currency that shouldn’t be exchanged for any other value. One should know when enough is enough. Simply disconnect, log off and hit the sack.