Can you blame technology for your lack of sleep?

by Martin Reed on 18 April 2011 in insomnia causes

We’ve already mentioned that technology can cause insomnia in children – we 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.

We’d recommend avoiding anything with an on/off switch for at least an hour before going to bed. That being said, we know that for some, technology helps them sleep. Some members of our 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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