"Just one more level," and other Internet temptations cut your sleep. "Individuals with DSL access tend to sleep 25 minutes less than their counterparts without DSL Internet. They are significantly less likely to sleep between 7 and 9 hours... Furthermore, they are less likely to be satisfied with their sleep. These effects are mostly concentrated among younger adults."
I at first thought that claim implausible. Then I thought of all the nights I went to bed later to finish something on the computer, or when I just lost track of time surfing."High-speed Internet makes it very enticing to stay up later to play video games, surf the web and spend time online on social media."
The association disappeared on weekends, when people could sleep later. But many of us have to get up for school or work, whether or not we were up late.
Other research has found that people who play computer games more than five hours in the evening sleep less and wake up more than those playing two hours. It's easy to understand how getting over-excited could affect your sleep.
Princeton economist Mark Aguilar studies changes in the supply of labor. He believes "that innovations to gaming/recreational computing since 2004 explain on the order of half the increase in leisure for younger men." Increase in leisure is a polite way of saying people work less. Some of us think that is a good thing, but apparently labor economists see less work time as a deficit. To isolate the many other factors, he compared results among states over 11 years.
None of these studies meets the requirements of evidence-based policy, although they appear well done.
Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management and Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University, Italy
University of Pittsburgh and IZA, United States
Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University, Italy
Received 9 October 2017, Revised 1 July 2018, Accepted 3 July 2018, Available online 29 July 2018.
There is a growing concern that the widespread use of computers, mobile phones and other digital devices before bedtime disrupts our sleep with detrimental effects on our health and cognitive performance.
However, there is little empirical evidence on the causal relationship between technology use near bedtime and sleep.
This paper studies the causal effects of access to high-speed Internet on sleep.
We find that DSL access causally reduces sleep duration and sleep satisfaction.
There is a growing concern that the widespread use of computers, mobile phones and other digital devices before bedtime disrupts our sleep with detrimental effects on our health and cognitive performance. High-speed Internet promotes the use of electronic devices, video games and Internet addiction (e.g., online games and cyberloafing). Exposure to artificial light from tablets and PCs can alterate individuals’ sleep patterns. However, there is little empirical evidence on the causal relationship between technology use near bedtime and sleep. This paper studies the causal effects of access to high-speed Internet on sleep. We first show that playing video games, using PC or smartphones, watching TV or movies are correlated with shorter sleep duration. Second, we exploit historical differences in pre-existing telephone infrastructure that affected the deployment of high-speed Internet across Germany (see Falck et al., 2014) to identify a source of plausibly exogenous variation in access to Broadband. Using this instrumental variable strategy, we find that access to high-speed Internet (DSL) access reduces sleep duration and sleep satisfaction. Results are driven by individuals who face work or family time constraints.