Access to electricity is linked to reduced sleep

ISLAMABAD: Researchers have found that that the presence of electricity and, thus, artificial light has reduced people’s hours of sleep.


Comparing hunter-gatherer societies with modern civilization that has access to electricity, the researchers said they were able to corroborate in a community setting their laboratory hypotheses regarding the effect of artificial light on sleep patterns, Science Daily reported.

“Everything we found feeds what we had predicted from laboratory or intervention studies, where researchers manipulate certain aspects of light exposure. But this is the first time we’ve seen this hold true in a natural setting,” said University of Washington biology professor Horacio de la Iglesia, the study’s lead author.

The researchers concluded that the shorter sleep was due to the availability of the option to turn the light on and sleep later.

The researchers said the findings of the study, which was conducted between 2012 and 2013, are a fair representation of the differences between people’s sleep patterns then and now, particularly in light of the changes in livelihood brought about by the advent of electricity.