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General Health Channel
Reported September 20, 2011

Gadgets: Stealing Your Sleep!

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Caution: your wireless devices could lead to sleepless nights and that can be very dangerous. Losing sleep can make you more prone to serious health conditions. One study shows not sleeping for more than 20 hours, then getting behind the wheel, can make you as impaired as someone who is legally drunk.

Stephanie Lynn was a ballerina. The 18-year-old loved being on stage, but she had to give up her dancing dreams a few years ago because she wasn’t dreaming enough.

“I’ve always just had a lot of trouble sleeping,” Stephanie told Ivanhoe.

She’s tried sleeping pills, melatonin and sleep studies. 

"So far, nothing’s worked. It stinks. I look at clock, it’s three. I look at the clock, it’s 4:30,” Stephanie explains.

About one in four Americans has trouble sleeping from time to time. Close to 25 million are chronic insomniacs. People who suffer from sleep deprivation face serious health problems like diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

“If you start gaining weight, then you’re more prone to sleep apnea, and there’s a whole bunch of other complications that come with that,” Akinyemi Ajayi, M.D., a sleep specialist from Florida Hospital, told Ivanhoe.

Dr. Ajayi says staring at gadgets with bright screens for hours on end could be the source of our sleep problems.

“It can potentially impact the secretion of melatonin, which then affects your drive, your ability to go to sleep,” Dr. Ajayi said.

A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found 95-percent of people surveyed used some sort of gadget within an hour before bedtime.

“Try and shut off your computer at least an hour to an hour and a half before bedtime,”
Dr. Ajayi said.

He says that goes for video games, cell phones and televisions, too. Dr. Ajayi says shutting them down can boost your melatonin.
 
Stephanie’s interested to find out if technology is causing her problems.
 
"Maybe I can try departing from my cell phone tonight and see how it goes,” she said.

She hopes to find an answer and turn her dream of getting back to ballet into a reality.
Dr. Ajayi says using your gadget to listen to soothing sounds or a relaxing playlist is OK.  However, he says listening to the radio to fall asleep is a bad idea because, unlike a playlist, you don’t know what’s coming next, and at any time, something can spark your interest, and you could be wide awake in an instant.

For additional research on this article, click here.

 

Sign up for a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs called First to Know by clicking here.

 

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marsha Hitchcock at mhitchcock@ivanhoe.com.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Steve Howard
The Children’s Lung, Asthma & Sleep Specialists
(407) 898-2767 Ext.211

 

 

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