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Widespread Communication Technology Use Before Sleep

A large number of Americans are not getting enough sleep and are trying to find ways to cope


MONDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- There is widespread use of communication devices, especially laptops and cell phones, in the hour before going to bed, according to the 2011 Sleep in America® Poll released by the National Sleep Foundation.

Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., from the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and Technology, and colleagues from the National Sleep Foundation Poll Task Force carried out a national poll to assess the sleep habits and impact of technology on sleep in different age groups. Americans aged 13 to 64 were interviewed by phone (750 participants) or by Web survey (758 participants) to collect data from an accurate sample of the U.S. population by age.

The investigators found that 95 percent of participants reported active technology use at least a few nights a week in the hour before trying to sleep. Cell phone use during this time was reported in 39 percent of respondents, and laptop use in 61 percent, and both of these were more common in respondents younger than 30. Those who regularly used cell phones or laptops before bed were also less likely to report getting a good night's sleep. Many participants were dissatisfied with their sleep, with 63 percent reporting that their sleep needs are not met during the week. Coping strategies include drinking caffeine and napping, but sleepiness affects mood, family life, home and work responsibilities, and social life.

"The poll is representative of the U.S. population with the primary focus of this year's poll to evaluate the relation between sleep and electronic communication devices," the authors write.

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