Surprising Sleep Stealers

To snooze better, power down an hour before bedtime.

By Health Editors
Photograph: Inga Nielsen

Lights out!
Tired all the time? Kick your laptop out of bed: 63 percent of Americans don’t get enough sleep and 95 percent of those surveyed admit to using an electronic device—such as a television, computer, video game or cell phone—within the hour before bed at least a few nights a week, according to The National Sleep Foundation's annual Sleep in America poll. Although the survey results only reveal a correlation, experts say pre-bedtime light exposure can suppress the release of melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone. To fall asleep faster, set an “electronic curfew” an hour before bedtime: Dim the lamps, avoid email and turn off the late-night TV. Or, if you’re not willing to sacrifice creature comforts for more shut-eye, try donning a pair of “dampening glasses,” which filter our the most damaging light, suggests experts.

Read: HealthDay

First Published March 8, 2011

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