Medical Minute 9-20: Gadgets That May Take Away Your Sleep

By: Vanessa Welch Email
By: Vanessa Welch Email

Stephanie Lynn is the ballerina on the right. The 18 year old loved being on stage, but, she had to give up her dancing dreams a few years ago because she wasn't dreaming enough!

"I've always just had a lot of trouble sleeping."

She's tried sleeping pills, melatonin and sleep studies. So far, nothing's worked.

"It stinks. I look at clock the it's three. I look at the clock, it's 4:30."

About one in four Americans have trouble sleeping from time to time. Close to 25 million are chronic insomniacs. People who suffer from sleep deprivation face serious health problems like diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

"And if you start gaining weight, then you're more prone to sleep apnea and there's a whole bunch of other complications that comes with that," said Akinyemi Ajayi, M.D., Sleep specialist, Florida Hospital.

Sleep Specialist Doctor Akinyemi Ajayi says staring at gadgets with bright screens for hours on end could be the source of our sleep problems.

"It can potentially impact the secretion of melatonin, which then affects your drive, your ability to go to sleep."

A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found 95-percent of people surveyed used some sort of gadget within an hour before bedtime.

"Video games will always keep you awake. it's hard to actually like, stop playing a video game."

"I've been staying up late on my computer ....," said Christie Hudon.

"Try and shut off your computer at least an hour to an hour and a half before bedtime."

Doctor Ajayi says that goes for video games, cell phones and TVs too. He tells us shutting them down can boost your melatonin . Stephanie's interested to find out if technology's causing her problems.

"Maybe I can try departing from my cell phone tonight and see how it goes," said Stephanie Lynn.

She hopes to find an answer and turn her dream of getting back to ballet into a reality.

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