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      Electronics near bedside affect sleep quality

      Many of us spend time on our smart phone or tablet before bed, but new research by the National Sleep Foundation suggests this could be causing us to lose sleep.

      Ninety-five percent of Americans use technology within an hour of bedtime, but the use of electronics stimulates our brain, making it harder for us to fall asleep.

      â??Last night I was up until midnight and I was texting, so I'd say yeah definitely using my phone keeps me from more sleep,â?? said Peter Nelson of Traverse City.

      A study by the the National Sleep Foundation said that 43 percent of Americans between ages 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good nights sleep, and some of that could be due to electronic devices.

      â??I tell myself to go to bed at 10:30 and I'm up till midnight texting or just staring at my phone looking for something to do because I don't feel tired yet,â?? said Cassidy Weese of Traverse City.

      Doctor David Walker of Sleep Diagnostics of Northern Michigan said the light from electronics decreases melatonin in our body, the hormone that helps us sleep.

      â??We need melatonin to turn the alerting mechanism off in our brain so the sleep drug can takeover so that we can sleep,â?? said Walker.

      Walker said even if weâ??re asleep, notifications from electronics are enough to arouse us into a lighter sleep, which can cause sleep deprivation.

      â??Try to avoid any light sources, that include the TV in the bedroom,â?? said Walker. â??Nothing after ten oâ??clock.â??

      There are multiple ways to avoid technology affecting our sleep.

      â??Keep it out of the bedroom because your brain will get conditioned to think, â??I'm not going to sleep I'm just going to sit here and read,â?? and do everything, your planning time, your computer time, out of the bedroom,â?? said Walker.

      The study said that electronics affect kids and teens the most. Those that have electronics in their bedrooms lose an hour of sleep a night because of it.

      Doctors said that if you do insist on using electronics before bedtime; allot at least eight hours to sleep after you put them away.