Trouble Sleeping? Turn Off Your Gadgets!

By Caitlin O'Connell

If you’re a social media junkie like me, that hour before bed signals quality time with a smartphone or laptop. Or both. I indulge in one last scan of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and when I’m finished maybe I’ll open my laptop and unwind with my favorite episode of “The Office” on Netflix. Eventually, I’ll push it all aside and close my eyes and go to sleep. Or not.

If this bedtime behavior sounds familiar—and it probably does, as 95 percent of people regularly browse the web, text, or watch TV in the hour before bed—then you already know how it can delay your eventual shut-eye. And sure enough, a Mashable article I came across during one such sleepless night confirmed that late-night gadget use can be disruptive to your sleep cycle.

Mashable includes a colorful infographic from Online Psychology Degree, that incorporates some statistics about phone use and how exactly that innocuous electronic display is preventing proper shut-eye. I’m embarrassed to say I’m guilty on most counts:

• 90 percent of 18-29-year-olds say they sleep with their phone in or right next to the bed.

• 1 in 2 say if they wake in the middle of the night for no reason, they’ll check their phone right away.

• A two-hour exposure to light from electronic displays suppresses melatonin by about 22 percent.

So, tonight as you await the sandman, stay focused on sleep and away from Siri.

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