Is technology damaging your health (and your business)?

By: John McGarvey

Date: 13 May 2014

MAn in bed using tablet{{}}

This could be affecting your health.

Leading scientists warned today that we've become 'supremely arrogant' by failing to pay attention to our body clocks.

And guess what? Technology is part of the problem. The light from smart phones, tablets and computers tends to be in the part of the spectrum that disrupts the body clock.

Using these devices in the evening can delay the release of sleep-promoting hormones. That means you feel sleepy later and wake up feeling tired as a result.

Get more sleep, be more healthy

It would be easy to dismiss this as some Daily Mail-esque scare, except that reduced sleep has been convincingly linked to all kinds of health problems. Not getting adequate sleep could be a contributory factor in cancer, heart disease, obesity and other ailments.

There are less-serious consequences too, but these can be more disruptive to everyday life. For instance, who isn't less alert and more grumpy after a poor night's sleep?

If you find you're prone to making rash decisions or snapping at colleagues, is it because you were up late last night on your iPad?

The health risks of running a business

Many business owners work long days and answer emails at all hours. As a result, it's not hard to argue they might be particularly susceptible to tech-related sleep issues.

And even if it feels like you're getting things done by working long hours, you might be doing more harm than good. Some tech pundits argue that sleep deprivation leads to muddled thinking and poor decisions.  

Throw in stress — which can also disrupt sleep — and you start to see how the working patterns you choose when running your company might affect both your future prosperity and your health.

Perhaps it's time we started turning technology off in the evenings.

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