21 Dec 2023

Waking up to risks

As technology allows more work to move online, many people find themselves still checking phones and email late at night. But using mobile phones before bed can play a part in insomnia, with sleepiness during the day then affecting decision making and work quality, according to new research.

Participants were asked to fill in an online survey which included questions on mobile phone use, insomnia, decision making and security and privacy concerns. The time they took to complete the survey and the number of clicks per page were also recorded. Researchers found that participants who reported feeling sleepy took longer to respond to the survey and were more likely to make mistakes.

In a paper published in the journal Ergonomics, the authors said: “Sleepy individuals are more likely to report a hypervigilant decisional style, and mobile phone use before bedtime may contribute to poor sleep. Although sleepy people may believe they can respond when necessary, there is a behavioural slowness during self-assessment that can be detected during online responding. Such slowness may contribute to lack of insight and difficulty making decisions, and this argues for objective measures of sleepiness and automated interventions.”

Read the abstract.

CIEHF members can read the full article by logging into our website, clicking the link to the Ergonomics journal on this page and then entering this as the URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00140139.2023.2288808

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