Can you blame technology for your lack of sleep?

by Martin Reed on 18 April 2011 in insomnia causes

I’ve already mentioned that technology can cause insomnia in children – I even singled out the iPad (and text messaging).

Some really unfortunate insomniacs may even be allergic to electromagnetic energy.

A recent study published by the National Sleep Foundation found that 43% of Americans between the ages of 13-64 rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights. 60% said they have a problem with sleep every night, or almost every night.

At the same time, 95% use some kind of electronics in the hour before bed at least a few nights per week.

Here’s where the problems crop up; artificial light exposure can suppress the release of melatonin.

That being said, some technologies are worse than others – televisions for example, are passively received (like that last episode of American Idol that put you in a trance-like state). Others, such as text messaging and video games are considered more dangerous to your sleep as they are interactive – therefore, they are more likely to disrupt the sleep-onset process.

I always recommend avoiding anything with an on/off switch for at least an hour before going to bed. That being said, I know that for some, technology helps them sleep.

Some members of my insomnia help forums need the TV on to help them relax. Others find it impossible to sleep without a marathon session of Bejeweled.

We’re all different – and that’s why there is no universal insomnia cure.

Source: National Sleep Foundation

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