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Health study: Technology in bedroom results in sleeplessness

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Originally published on Technorati

The Better Sleep Council (BSC) advises sleep-deprived people to turn off the technology switch in order to improve their quality of rest. A survey showed that nearly half of Americans don’t get enough sleep and gadgets such as cellphones and tablets are partly responsible for the mass insomnia.

“Simple things like turning off cell phones, not eating in bed and sleeping on a comfortable mattress rank highest on the list of missed opportunities,” said Karin Mahoney, director of communications. “Part of the problem is that people think they can push through their lack of sleep without negative effects. Men, in particular, are more likely to believe they can train themselves to function normally on less sleep, but studies show that just isn’t true.”

Psychology professor Andrew Campbell at the University of Sydney advises individuals to reduce their interaction with electronic devices in a May 3 Telegraph article. “Technology can make you socially isolated because you don't meet face to face …. But nothing is better than seeing a real smile, instead of a text smile.” A recent Pure Profile survey found that young Australians aged 35 and under are spending up to 16 hours a day interacting with technological devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The Better Sleep Council recommends that people should reduce electronics use in the bedroom, specifically in the bed. Constantly checking one’s cellphone while in bed leads to restlessness. Unfortunately, nearly 80 percent of Americans don’t turn off their cellphones when going to bed. Thus, late-night texts and messages can be a source of stress and prevents the relaxation necessary prior to one dozing off to sleep.

Additionally, intense back lighting from high-tech gadgets stimulates chemicals in the brain that adversely affects one’s quality of rest. According to BSC, technology users should power off one hour before bed and sticking to hard copies to read in bed with soft lighting.

The sleep council offers this advice: “Buy a $5 alarm clock and exercise the ‘power down’ feature as part of your bedtime routine. If that’s not enough, consider keeping your phone in a separate room. At a minimum, keep it out of reach.” Silent digital clocks serve as an alternative for road warriors who frequently stay at hotels.

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