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Late night communications technology use may lead to sleep problems

Posted by Sarah Moomaw  March 8, 2011 02:19 PM

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The following was submitted via press release by Norwood Hospital:

Norwood, MA – With the seasonal change to Daylight Savings Time, people are more aware than ever of the importance of a good night’s sleep. The National Sleep Foundation has released the findings of a poll showing the impact of communications technology on sleep.

The 2011 Sleep in America™ poll finds pervasive use of communications technology in the hour before bed. It also finds that a significant number of Americans aren’t getting the sleep they say they need and are searching for ways to cope.

Among the findings:

  • 43% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights.

  • 95% of those surveyed use some type of electronics (TV, computer, video game or cell phone) at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed.

  • Technology preferences vary between baby boomers (46-64 year olds), generation X’ers (30-45 year olds), generation Y’ers (19-29 year olds) and generation Z’ers (13-18 year olds):

  • Two-thirds of baby boomers and generation X’ers watch TV most nights within the hour before sleep.

  • 55% of generation Z’ers and 47% of generation Y’ers say they surf the Internet most nights within the hour before sleep.

  • 36% of generation Z’ers and 28% of generation Y’ers play a video game within the hour before sleep.

  • 56% of generation Z’ers and 42% of generation Y’ers use text messaging most nights before bed.

  • Generation Z’ers and Y’ers report more sleepiness than generation X’ers and baby boomers

  • Americans are coping with sleepiness by drinking caffeine and taking regular naps

  • Driving while drowsy is occurring at an alarming rate.

  • Half of generation Y’ers say they drove while drowsy at least once in the past month.

  • 12% of generation X’ers and Y’ers and 8% of generation Z’ers say they drive drowsy once or twice a week
  • According to Frank Conahan, MD, director of Norwood Hospital’s Sleep Center, which is a member of the National Sleep Foundation, “we are seeing these same trends in our patients. Many people have unwittingly allowed communications technology to interfere with their ability to get a restful night’s sleep.”

    “The NSF has done a valuable service raising awareness about insomnia and the importance of sleep for overall health,” said Conahan. “Sleep disorders can mean increased risk of hypertension, stroke and diabetes, as well as automobile and workplace accidents. We encourage anyone with sleep issues to discuss them with their physician,” he said.

    National Sleep Foundation
    The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to improving sleep health and safety through education, public awareness, and advocacy. It is well-known for its annual Sleep in America® poll. The Foundation is a charitable, educational and scientific not-for-profit organization located in Washington, DC. Its membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine, professionals in the health, medical and science fields, individuals, patients, families affected by drowsy driving and more than 900 healthcare facilities throughout North America. Sleep tips, information on sleep disorders and a Summary of Findings for the 2011 Sleep in America™ poll are available at

    Norwood Hospital Center for Sleep Medicine
    The Norwood Hospital Center for Sleep Medicine provides the latest technology to assist experts in diagnosing and treating a complete range of sleep disorders. The Center also provides CPAP and BiPAP equipment for patients’ home use as well as ongoing support, information and assistance. A physician referral is needed for the center. The center can be reached at 866-698-7533.

    About Steward Health Care
    Steward Health Care is a community-based accountable care organization and the parent company of Caritas Christi Health Care. Headquartered in Boston, Steward has more than 13,000 employees serving more than one million patients annually in 85 communities. Hospitals in the system include Saint Anne’s in Fall River, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Norwood Hospital, Carney Hospital in Dorchester, and Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton. Other Steward Health Care entities include Steward Physician Network, Caritas Hospice and Home Care, Labouré College, and Por Cristo. Further information is available at

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