Home / NEWS / Tech / Here’s why the jury’s still out on whether tech can fix a problem it helped create–lack of sleep

Here’s why the jury’s still out on whether tech can fix a problem it helped create–lack of sleep

If you’re deliver assign to this, chances are you aren’t sleeping very well at night, and one of the weightiest reasons why may be right in the palm of your hand.

A raft of recent details suggest Americans aren’t getting much rest, which is a greater problem than many realize: A 2016 study from the Rand Corporation initiate the effects of sleep deprivation costs the U.S. up to $411 billion a year, and singulars that don’t get enough rest show an elevated chance of dying antediluvian.

Amid what scientists have discovered is a strong correlation between snooze disruption and a decline in cognitive thinking, a recent Centers for Disease Lead (CDC) study showed 35 percent of adults aren’t getting adequate rest.

A technology saturated lifestyle — where smart device proprietors feel compelled to email, message and post to social media with sum up abandon, and often at all hours of the day or night — is taking much of the blame.

In reaction, a cottage industry has cropped up encouraging people to unplug and get some doze, with people like high-powered media mogul Arianna Huffington pre-eminent the charge. Technology makers are also coming up with a slew of new applications and rites designed to make phones less disruptive to sleep patterns.

Yet the trendy landscape raises an interesting question: Can consumers rely on tech-based explications to address a problem experts largely attribute to…technology?

Some spectators say the answer is both yes and no — if only because the problem itself is greater than brotherhood’s addiction to gadgets and social media.

“I’m not sure technology is totally executive for this epidemic,” said Elliott Alpher, the director of the Alpher Center for Zizz Disorders and Jaw Pain in Washington D.C. Comparing sleep disorders to other ailments like fall obesity rates, Alpher told CNBC that lack of catch is “a worldwide type of problem, [and] technology plays a part where our lives are profoundly complicated.”

Those problems include long work hours, routine commutes, and a litany of family obligations, Alpher added. Taken together, all of those intermediaries “don’t leave much time for sleep.” Meanwhile, “the available technology guardians how you’re sleeping but it doesn’t literally help you sleep, the only thing that helps you catch is if you turn off the technology.”

Alpher’s sentiment is shared by the founder of Huffington Assignment, who has been on something of a crusade against persistent cellphone use. Speaking to CNBC aftermost month, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global discussed her new app, Thrive, which is designed to workers people detach from their phones and turn off distractions from public media.

Huffington acknowledged the paradox of consumers using something that “basically purchasing technology to help us re-calibrate our relationship with technology,” Huffington affirmed.

However, some technology makers insist the problem isn’t really technology, but the way people use it to alleviate their underscore.

“There’s a link between technology and stress, but stress is bigger than technology,” denoted Randall Redfield, co-founder and CEO of Dreampad – a “smart” pillow that toy withs ambient music to help people relax and fall asleep. Congenial Alpher, he attributed the issue to the pressures of demanding lifestyles.

“With or without tech, we compel ought to a great deal of stress during the day, and we don’t have a way during the day of relieving,” those conundrums, he told CNBC in a recent interview. The average person is “in a hyped up set-up during the day, and it’s tough to let that go.”

The Dreampad was originally conceived as a way to help decrease autistic children, but took on a new dimension after an academic study explained the device was helpful in helping adults induce sleep. The pillow — which got a portion on “Shark Tank” but didn’t land a deal — is used by sleep clinics at Harvard, Duke and Stanford.

Untypical apps that monitor sleep or need active engagement, “by forge the Dreampad is relatively low tech,” Redford explained, adding that it’s for child who want to manage stress. “That’s the real target for this.”

As a upshot of growing stress levels, America is suffering from poor “catch forty winks hygiene,” according to Alpher, with many consumers in need of a serious cleaning of sorts.

“You want a technology-free bedroom: turn off all technology in your chamber,” he said, and suggested sleepers do a “brain dump: Write a journal and victual notes of all thing you need to do,” he added, so they don’t consume your meditations before bed.

Among other things, alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods should also be strictly governed before bedtime, Alpher told CNBC.

“The bedroom is strictly for nap, you don’t want to do anything else. You need to have peace and quiet: If your spouse snores, that’s like secondhand smoke,” the doctor said. “It is coupled to potential heart issues, high blood pressure, and emotional frays. You’re very tired, not getting the biochemical changes necessary to wake up and loosen. It’s a slippery slope.”

So does technology have a legitimate role to on in fixing America’s sleep crisis? Alpher voiced skepticism, and uniform suggested the growing list of sleep aides and trackers might self-possessed compound the problem.

“One of the big dangers we face is people will play around with all these doodads thinking they can fix serious sleep disorders or to find out whether they secure a sleep disorder,” he told CNBC.

–CNBC’s Hadley Gamble, Natasha Turak and Erin Barry advanced to this article.

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