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Study says electronics may disrupt sleep

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CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

As you're getting ready to turn in the for the night, a new study says a lot of people can't turn their electronic devices off.

So what can you do to get the best night's sleep?

"Before I got to bed I watch TV, turn my TV on, keep my phone next to me," said Mark Elfrink.

When you climb into bed, ready to fall asleep, if your cell phone is right there with you, a study from the National Sleep Foundation said it might be more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

The sleep foundation says 95 percent of Americans use an electronic device an hour before going to bed.

"I usually do see what kind of messages I have," Elfrink said.

While some people in the heartland fall into that category, a few said they make sure to power down before turning down the lights.

"I turn everything off," said Melinda Skaggs. "I don't want phone calls during the night waking me up."

"Electronics like iPads, iPhones, electronic computers should be off," said Dr. Brad Bittle, with Saint Francis Medical Center.

Bittle said the best case scenario is to turn all electronic devices off before trying to go to sleep.

He said the noise could be a sleep distraction, and the light is a certain intensity that can actually suppress the melatonin which is a chemical in your brain that tells you it's time to go to sleep.

Sometimes it may not even be the added light, but the content of what you're looking at.

"If you're reading news articles, you can get wound up about what you've read, that stirs you up and you have difficulty relaxing and getting back to sleep," Bittle said.

"I'll wake up if the TV turns off, it's got to be on," said Emily Keenan.

For those who say they need to fall asleep to the distraction of a TV, Dr. Bittle said it's not harmful, it's just not great conditions to stay asleep throughout the night.

And if you don't stay asleep, many are tempted to go right back to those electronic devices.

"You wake up in the morning at four o’clock, five o’clock you see people on Facebook," Elfrink said.

Dr. Bittle said the best bet to getting a good night’s sleep is to turn off all of your electronic devices.

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