We all know that technology is taking its toll on relationships and family dynamics, but it’s also affecting our sleep!

Whether it’s an email or a desperate attempt to respond to every wrong person online, the internet and all of its diversions are keeping us from getting enough zzzzz’s.

Sleep_internetAccording to the National Sleep Foundation, 95% of people surveyed use some type of electronic device within an hour before bedtime, at least a few times a week.

Among kids, about half are surfing the web before bed, and one in ten are awakened after they go to sleep by a call, text or email – nightly.

“One of the most simple but important reasons technology affects our sleep is cognitive stimulation,” says Mark Rosekind, PhD, former director of the Fatigue Countermeasures Program at the NASA Ames Research Center.

In addition to neuron activity revving up the brain when we are engaged online, the direct and close “glow” emitting from digital devices is suppressing the release of the much needed, sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. This combination adds up to one thing… less sleep.

So what’s the cure? It’s pretty simple… turn off the technology!

Here are a few tips…

Unwind before bedtime. Have a transition period, about 30 minutes to an hour of technology-free time before you go into your bedroom for sleep.

Shut down your bedroom. Make where you sleep an electronic-free zone. No cell phones, no tablets, no computers. According to AOL’s “Email Addiction” survey, more than 40% of 4,000 respondents have checked email in the middle of the night.

Disconnect your kids. Take away the technology. Instead of reading on a tablet, give them a relaxing book (you remember, the paper kind) to read before bed.

Random Facts About Sleep You Should Know

  • Humans are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep.
  • One of the primary causes of excessive sleepiness among Americans is self-imposed sleep deprivation.
  • Most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
  • The average woman aged 30-60 sleeps only six hours and forty-one minutes during the workweek.
  • Women are more likely than men to have difficulty falling and staying asleep.
  • Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise for overall health and well-being.

Sources: National Sleep Foundation, WebMD, Health Source