We can all admit it. The internet is practically our life. It’s how we access the news, do our favorite online shopping, and how we quickly get our questions answered. But would you give all of that up just for sleep? According to half of Americans, they in fact would have no problem doing so.
A new poll conducted by OnePoll, was completed by 2,000 U.S. adults. The results of the study found that 45 percent of these adults are willing to give up the internet just to receive a full year of restful sleep. Along with giving up the internet, 43 percent said they would give up their phones and 41 percent said they would give up their cars. Wow, we guess sleep is becoming a major priority, but this might have to do with how we sleep during the different seasons in the year. (1)
The study also showed that six out of 10 people reported that their sleep routines experience a difference during those chilly and dark winter months compared to the summer, spring, and fall seasons.
And 56 percent of respondents perceive a shift in their personalities during the winter, while 49 percent acknowledge alterations in their daily habits, according to the survey findings. On the other hand, they experienced completely different emotions in the warmer months such as feeling happier and happier with themselves.
So, does this reliance on our phones and the internet increase during those colder months and cause our circadian rhythm to become all over the place? We wanted to know if spending too much time on our phones in the winter and if lack of sleep lead to that seasonal depression leaving us wanting to stay in bed all day and constantly skip days from the gym.
Does Colder Weather Lead To More Internet Use and Worse Sleep?
Now the winter months are here to stay, which means we are most likely going to see a change in our circadian rhythms as the sun will set earlier and there might be cloudier weather approaching.
“When it’s dark and our eyes receive less light stimulation, the brain shuts down its production of melatonin,” she told Sleepopolis. “The balance of melatonin helps our brain keep track of time and also helps us initiate sleep.”
From the days becoming shorter to the weather often becoming overcast, Rohrscheib said this change is not something to take lightly as it can dramatically alter our circadian rhythm, leading to grogginess, lack of energy, and even poorer sleep.
So, how does this effect on our circadian rhythm tie into using the internet and our phones? During the winter months, we often stay inside, leading us to spend hours on our electronics instead of taking advantage of those rare sunny days in the winter.
“One of the most important ways to improve your circadian health during the winter months is to go outside as much as possible and exercise,” she said. “Using screens promotes a more indoor, sedentary lifestyle and leaves less time for healthy activities.”
If you are looking to cut down on your internet and phone use, especially for the new season, Rohrscheib gave some suggestions on how to properly do so by starting your morning by going outside for a little. This could be as simple as drinking a cup of coffee outside or taking your dog for a walk all bundled up of course.
Exercise outside when you can and opt for other activities besides doom scrolling before going to bed such as listening to music or reading a novel with a cup of tea. And as soon as you know it you will be sleeping better and that seasonal depression will start to slowly slip away.
ASMR Video Creators Claim They Can Put You to Sleep In Less Than 10 Minutes, But What Do Experts Say?
1. Research T. Half of Americans would give up the internet for better sleep. The Mercury. November 14, 2023. Accessed November 15, 2023. https://themercury.com/lifestyles/health/half-of-americans-would-give-up-the-internet-for-better-sleep/article_675ffc30-1bda-555c-b68f-07117024d027.html.
Rohrscheib, Chelsie. Personal Interview. November 15, 2o23.