An anonymous reader points out a study by the National Sleep Foundation which looked at the relationship between sleep habits and the use of electronic communications tech in the hour before bedtime. Dr. Michael Grasidar of Flinders University said, "My research compares how technologies that are ‘passively received' such as TVs and music versus those with ‘interactive' properties like video games, cell phones and the Internet may affect the brain differently. The hypothesis is that the latter devices are more alerting and disrupt the sleep-onset process." The study found that people who frequently send text messages or use their laptops before bed were less likely to report getting a good night's sleep (PDF) than people who don't. "While these technologies are commonplace, it is clear that we have a lot more to learn about the appropriate use and design of this technology to complement good sleep habits," said the NSF's David Cloud.
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