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June 15, 2018

You may need to get more sleep due to social media, smartphones

Penn State professor says our brains needs time to process all the information we ingest

Adult Health Sleep
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A Penn State professor says people should be getting more than eight hours of sleep each night because our tech-driven world is placing new demands on our bodies.

Daniel Gartenberg, a sleep researcher and adjunct assistant professor, told the Daily Mail that people should sleep 8.5 hours each day because people are taking in more information than they ever have – about 34 GB a day.

"If anything, I think we need more sleep now because we are bombarded with so much information," Gartenberg told the British newspaper. "One of the main functions of sleep is to take all the information we get throughout the day and sort it into what's relevant."

Sleep helps people process information through synaptic homeostasis, Gartenberg said. With social media and digital communications uber-prevalent, he suggests people allot more time to allow that process to run its course.

"With cellphones and social media, our brains are always a little on," Gartenberg said. "Our fight or flight response is always just a little bit activated, so there's this low level anxiety that you may not even notice, but it's there and you have to train yourself out of it."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night.

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