Every year, the National Sleep Foundation releases an annual poll that tells many of us what we already know – we're a sleep-deprived nation. But this year's poll contains a new wrinkle. The culprit isn't always stress or some undiagnosed disease. It could be that great new gadget you've become addicted to.
An amazing 95 percent of those surveyed say they use some type of technology in the hour before trying to sleep. But the type of technology varies with age. More than half watch TV, but the percentage is highest among those 46- to 64 years old. Younger people are more likely to be using their laptops or play a video game before they turn in. Cell phones are also a common cause of sleep disturbance among younger people who say they are awakened by a late-night call at least several times a week.
Using any kind of electronic device – whether it's a TV, laptop or video game – interferes with your ability to get to sleep because light exposure suppresses the hormone melatonin, which promotes sleep. That means your brain is raring to go just when you want to get some rest. You can turn that biological trick around by lowering the lights in your home in the hour before you go to bed. It really works to make you drowsy!
To read more about the survey, click here.