A new study reveals that Americans are not getting the sleep they need, and suggests that technology may play a role in decreasing sleep time.

A new study reveals that Americans are not getting the sleep they need, and suggests that technology may play a role in decreasing sleep time.

The National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep in America poll reports that 95% of the 1,508 people who participated in a survey reflected usage of a specific electronic device, such as a TV, computer, video game or cellphone, within an hour of bedtime at least a few nights a week.

All these devices can affect the quality of sleep, says Lauren Hale, associate professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook (N.Y.) University School of Medicine, one of the researchers involved in the study. … “Communication technologies are often light-emitting, which can suppress the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and make it harder to go to sleep at night.” Both the light and alert sounds from such devices can interfere with falling asleep and staying asleep, she says.

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