Belfast Telegraph

Overload 'causing sleep problems'

Nine out of 10 people are sacrificing a good night's sleep in order to stay in touch on the internet, a survey has showed.

More than half of 2,000 people polled said they went online while in bed trying to sleep and one in five admitted they needed to check their Twitter, Facebook or email accounts because they have a "fear of missing out". Just one in 10 described their quality of sleep as "good".

The blue light emitted by devices such as mobile phones and tablets mimics daylight and suppresses production of a brain chemical called melatonin, which helps us sleep, research has shown.

Dr Chris Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said: "As technology to keep us connected improves, we face a new battle with trying to switch off at night. Sufferers should try and avoid using phones, laptops, and other screen-based devices for at least an hour before bed."

The survey, carried out by Nytol last December, also found almost half of people went straight from the couch to bed, less than 15 minutes after switching off the TV, two in five checked emails or social media accounts straight before bed, and one in four thought they were addicted to checking emails and social media in bed.

A spokesman for the firm said: "N ever before in history have we faced such an overload of information, causing people in the UK to suffer from a rising tide of sleep problems."

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