The growing correlated trend between technology use and sleeping disorders might have finally been explained by a recently published poll by the National Sleep Foundation which outlines some intriguing statistics. For starters, the poll shows that a whopping 95% of American citizens use some form of digital technology an hour before they go to bed. The study also concludes that found that 43 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights, also more than half (60 percent) said that they experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night.
Researchers state that using a computer, texting on a mobile or smartphone or watching TV an hour prior to sleep will negatively affect a person’s ability to fall asleep, rest properly and get the amount of rest needed.
“Artificial light exposure between dusk and the time we go to bed at night suppresses release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour–making it more difficult to fall asleep,” Dr. Charles Czeisler, a professor at Harvard Medical School, said in a statement. “This study reveals that light-emitting screens are in heavy use within the pivotal hour before sleep.”
Dr. Allison Harvey, professor of clinical psychology at the University of California Berkeley, said there are two main reasons why the use of electronics may affect our sleep. “For one, our biology is incredibly sensitive to light,” Harvey said. “We need exposure to bright light in the morning and dim lighting at night.” If you consider in addition that computers and cell phones, especially, are very stimulative and disrupt sleep due to their interactive nature, and you can understand where this is going.
About two-thirds of baby boomers (46-64-year-olds) and generation X’ers (30-45-year-olds) and half of generation Z’ers (19-29-year-olds) and generation Y’ers (13-18-year-olds) watch television every night or almost every night within the hour before going to sleep. About six in ten say they use their laptops or computers at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed. More than half of generation Z’ers and slightly less of generation Y’ers say they surf the Internet every night or almost every night within the hour before sleep.
I don’t think I needed scientific proof of this either, considering I’ve noticed this for some time now. If I’m working from home late at night, I’ll almost always have a tough time going to sleep, but if I’m just reading a book ten minutes before I feel it’s time to hit the sack, I’m knocked out immediately and sleeping sound like a baby. Doctors advice exercising regularly, eating healthy and most importantly developing a sleeping schedule which you need to uphold even on weekends.
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