Sunday, September 19, 2010

Most Americans Sleep with Cell Phones

Most American adults spend every waking moment connected…. and every nonwakeful moment it turns out. A Pew survey shows two-thirds of Americans sleep with their cell phones in their bed or on a nightstand.

The set-up leads to a lot of late-night texting, talking or web surfing if it’s a smartphone. It’s bad sleep hygiene that could be promoting insomnia.

A now infamous report the Sleep Education Blog covered on in spring shows the bright screen from the Apple iPad makes sleep more difficult. Many outlets at the time claimed the device caused insomnia, a claim that is untrue.

Research shows the bright blue and green light emitted from the screen of modern electronic devices, whether it’s a cell phone or a television, can alter the natural human circadian process by preventing the body from secreting melatonin.

Then there is the issue of text messages. Teens are notorious for staying up late in their bedroom texting with their friends. The behavior may carry on to adulthood for some people. The Pew study shows heavy and medium texters are more likely to sleep with their phone. Readers can draw their own conclusions on what this group is doing from bed.

There are of course valid excuses to keep your cell phone in the bedroom, such as being an on-call worker. Cell phones also make good alarm clocks. Make sure to turn off the sound for email alerts if you’re using a smartphone, or risk plenty of unwelcome awakenings.

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