Yes, as an Internet service provider EarthLink does encourage people to use their computers and their dial-up or high-speed Internet service a lot – because there’s so much you can do online for work and play.
But if you’re not sleeping as well as you could be, it may be because you’re getting too much of a good thing, at least too close to bedtime.
As reported in the New York Time Well blog this week, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) found that people exposed to light from tablet computers had significantly lower levels of melatonin, a important hormone for the regulation of sleep.
Other related research on computer use at night showed a similar reduction of melatonin.
The number one concern this research raises is sleep disruption, which naturally has other consequences like your attention span and productivity the next day. But there may even be risks of obesity and other disorders.
So, what should you do?
The authors of the latest study advise that you limit your computer use close to your bedtime. And dimming your monitor or screen to the lowest level that you can use may also limit the negative sleep effects.
Personally, I use my computer quite a bit late at night, and I have noticed that on the nights I use it most, I have trouble falling asleep and end up staying up later than I want.
So the studies make sense to me.
What about you? Let us know if you’ve noticed any sleep issues with late-night computer use.