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Computer at Night is worse than Cigarette or Alcohol

Updated on December 29, 2010

Stay in front of the computer at night is worse for your sleep than drink, smoke or go out partying. A survey of 710 students evaluated found that out of every ten people who use the PC at night, seven have trouble sleeping.

Among all young people examined, 486 were women and 224 men. Of this total, 60% (428) were classified as poor sleepers. The numbers were higher when they were checking just the internet night users and smokers. The study concluded that among those who use the PC between 7pm and midnight, 73.3% were classified as poor sleepers. For those watching television at the same time, for example, sleep was impaired in 59.7% of cases.

According to psychologist Gemma Galgani Mosque, author of the study, the brightness of the computer, likewise TV and lamps, stimulates neurons and disrupts the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. This prevents the person to reaches the deep and restful sleep.

The worse factor to the sleep is the light. Exposed to light, the body does not metabolize the hormone as it needs to have a restful sleep. In the case of computers, the damage is even greater for two reasons: the proximity to the screen and content. Compared to television, the Internet demands more mental activity of the user.

The computer is more present in the lives of young people than alcohol and cigarettes. What adds to the scene, according to the study's author, is that new generations are used to communicate over the Internet, a habit that will not go away throughout their lives.

- For those who want to sleep well, the ideal is to leave the PC at eight o'clock because that will give time to metabolize the sleep hormone.

Women Suffer More

The study also revealed that women are more affected by computer effects than men. In evaluating those who use computers between 7pm and midnight during the weekends, 83.4% were classified as poor sleepers. For men, the highest rate was 62.5% and that referred to those who are connected from 7pm to 10pm. According to the study's author, remains unclear why the results are different for men and women, maybe a hormonal difference in the metabolism of the hormone of sleep, or perhaps a greatest physical strength. That is the next stage of the research.

The effects of smoking on sleep were also significant. According to the survey, among those who smoke, 70.5% were considered poor sleepers. Among the nonsmokers, 59.7% slept badly.

- The smoker had more sleep disorders, such as waking up at night and takes longer to sleep or have nightmares.

Although the study has evaluated people with college age, the researcher said the results would be the same in all age groups. With an aggravating circumstance: for adults, seniors, children and adolescents, the consequences are even worse. A youth is at the peak of physical endurance, more resistant than an adult, elderly, children and adolescents.


The danger of sleeping poorly is that, over time, the habit can lead to mental disorders, in a short time memory and concentration are impaired and opens space for gastrointestinal problems and other diseases. The type two diabetes and obesity are also associated with decreased sleep time in general.

The study showed that even exercises combined with bad habits can disturb sleep. The research showed that those who exercise, but were using the PC at night, also had trouble sleeping. Although it is a surprising result, Gemma said the practice of exercising leads to a better night's sleep, if the person has a good diet and avoids alcohol and the PC at night. It doesn’t work if you exercise and then stay in front of the computer all night.

It can be hard but try to use your PC or Laptop in earlier hours or maybe not for so many hours and you will be taking care of your sleep and your health.


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