Too many gadgets affecting our sleep
Published Sunday, June 26, 2011 4:43PM EDT
It's so tempting to veg out in front of the TV or computer at night after a long day, but an annual report on sleep habits said high-tech gadgets could prevent you from getting a good night's sleep.
Sleep just isn't a priority when you're in Las Vegas because of the bright lights and entertainment offered on the famous strip.
It's the same reason many of us don't get enough sleep in our own homes.
"You begin to have a 24/7 culture of entertainment," said Dr. Charles Czeisler, sleep expert at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "These technologies have invaded the bedroom."
A new national sleep foundation poll finds almost two-thirds of US adults said they aren't getting enough sleep - less than seven hours on the average weeknight.
Why? Almost everyone in the survey said they often used some kind of electronic device in the hour before bedtime, like a TV, computer, video game or cellphone.
More than half of teenagers polled said they spend that time texting.
"Instead of turning them off, they leave the things on in case an important message comes through," said Dr. Czeisler. "Many times those messages are interrupting sleep even after they've fallen asleep."
Experts say the artificial light emitted from gadgets stimulates our brains, so we're not physically ready to sleep when we're supposed to.
The majority of the sleep-deprived in the study said the lack of quality shut-eye left them fatigued, moody and unable to perform at maximum capacity the next day.
Yet technology calls night after night and we are listening.
"They're being captivated by the very technologies that are denying them the sleep that they know that they need," said Dr. Czeisler.
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