If you’re having trouble getting a solid night’s sleep, the blame may rest on all the gadgets you’re using.
A whopping 95 percent of Americans use some kind of technology an hour before they go to sleep, the National Sleep Foundation found in a poll released today. The organization said Americans are turning on their televisions, mobile phones, computers, or video game devices before bed “at least a few nights a week.”
The problem: using technology before bed can negatively affect a person’s ability to fall asleep and to get the amount of sleep they need.
“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.”
When it comes to television before bed, age is a distinguishing factor. The National Sleep Foundation said that 67 percent of baby boomers watch TV every night or nearly every night an hour before they try to sleep, while 63 percent of Generation X folks do the same. Half of all people between the ages of 13 and 18, also known as Generation Z, watch television every night, while 49 percent of Generation Y–folks between 19 and 29–say they flick on their set.