Entertainment Overload

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Monday, March 7, 2011 - 8:38am

Are TV, video games and other electronic entertainment keeping you awake at night?

Sleep just isn't a priority when you're in Las Vegas because of the bright lights and entertainment offered on the famous strip.

It's the same reason many of us don't get enough sleep in our own homes.

"You begin to have a 24/7 culture of entertainment, and these technologies have invaded the bedroom," says Dr. Charles Czeisler of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

A new National Sleep Foundation poll finds almost two-thirds of adults say they aren't getting enough sleep: Less than seven hours on the average week night.

Why?

Almost everyone in the survey said they often used some kind of electronic device in the hour before bedtime like a TV, computer, video game or cell phone.

Experts say our brains simply aren't ready for sleep when our heads hit the pillow because of those stimulants and artificial light.

"The light exposure is physiologically changing us so that we're more alert and less likely to even want to go to bed," says Dr. Czeisler.

The majority of the sleep-deprived in the study said the lack of quality shut-eye left them fatigued, moody and unable to perform at maximum capacity the next day.

"They're being captivated by the very technologies that are denying them the sleep that they know that they need," Dr. Czeisler explains.

Maybe not as captivating as the bright lights of Vegas, but at least in your own home you can turn them off.

More than half of the teenagers polled said they spend that hour before bedtime texting, and some are woken up in the middle of the night by text message alerts.
 

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