Using technology before bed can lead to insomnia

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Using interactive technology right before bed could lead to some restless nights.

Feeling tired? Blame your computer. The National Sleep Foundation says technology before bed hurts your quality of sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation’s annual sleep survey found 95 percent of Americans tuck themselves in with technology: TVs, laptops, smart phones and video games. Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers are more likely to catch some TV before catching Zs. But about half of all millennials, those age 29 and younger, surf the Internet or play video games before bed.

Allison Harvey is a professor of sleep and psychology at UC, Berkley. She says TV is a passive technology so it doesn’t stimulate the brain like computers do.

“Where as a lot of the video games, Facebook, Twitter, will respond back at us," Harvey explains. "So they are interactive and maybe get in the way of sleep more than the passively received ones.”

Harvey says interactive technology makes us more alert and can lead to insomnia when used at night. She also says light from computer screens can mess with the body’s circadian rhythm and can lead to poorer sleep.

She recommends an “electronic curfew.” At least 30 minutes before you hit the hay, hit the “off” button on your computer.

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