Broadband internet is causing sleep deprivation, researchers from Bocconi University in Milan have suggested.
In a study in Germany in 2016, the University found that access to high-speed internet reduces sleep duration and sleep satisfaction in individuals that "face time constraints in the morning for work or family reasons".
They found that this could be the reason why around 200,000 working days were lost in Germany every year due to insufficient sleep, something that a 2016 report by the RAND Corporation found was contributing to an economic loss of $60bn, or about 1.6 per cent of the country's GDP.
The scientists linked the data on broadband to surveys where individuals report their sleep duration.
Francesco Billari and Luca Stella from Bocconi University, alongside Osea Giuntella from the University of Pittsburgh, published their studies in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organisation, finding that access to broadband Internet is one of the causes of such sleep deprivation.
"Individuals with DSL [internet] access tend to sleep 25 minutes less than their counterparts without DSL internet," the report states. "They are significantly less likely to sleep between seven and nine hours, the amount recommended by the scientific community, and are less likely to be satisfied with their sleep."
The effect that the authors found is apparently driven mostly by individuals that face time constraints in the morning and by the use of electronic devices in the evening, and not by their use throughout the day.
"Digital temptations may lead to a delay in bedtime, which ultimately decreases sleep duration for individuals who are not able to compensate for later bedtime by waking up later in the morning," said Billari.
The researchers also found that these temptations individuals are prone to vary according to age.
Teenagers and young adults aged 13-30 showed a significant association between insufficient sleep and time spent on computer games or watching TV or videos in the evening, while for older adults aged 31-59 there was a correlation between the use of PCs and smartphones and insufficient sleep.
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