Hoping to score a big promotion this year? The smartest thing you can do is to turn off your smartphone late at night. It seems like the opposite would be true — be available 24/7 and your boss will love you — but researchers at Michigan State University found that people who check their phones after 9 p.m. to see if they have any new work emails are less alert and engaged at the office the next day. The researchers believe that the late-night email habit makes it tough for you to disconnect and fall asleep. And without that rejuvenating rest, you can’t hope to shine in meetings or knock a presentation out of the ballpark.
It makes sense. You hit refresh as you are brushing your teeth, read an email from your boss about how that document you submitted wasn’t quite right, and will spend the next few hours tossing and turning and thinking of ways to improve it. If you had just waited until the morning, you would feel fresh and ready to tackle the project.
There’s another reason late-night smartphone use can disrupt your sleep: The screen emits a blue light, which researchers believe disrupts levels of melatonin, a hormone that helps control your sleep cycle.
The thing is, it can be tough to disconnect completely. One option: Set an away message for after 9 p.m. that says if something is truly an emergency, call your cell (either work or personal). Then set it up so that only certain phone numbers will actually make your phone ring. That way you don’t have to worry that a disaster is happening without your awareness but you won’t be bothered by more trivial matters that can wait until morning.
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