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November 30, 2017 06:12 PM

Screen Light Interrupting Sleep

Sioux Falls, SD

You look at it many times a day, carry it with you everywhere, and maybe even use it to wake you up in the morning. 

Cell phones rarely ever leave your side...  but sleep experts are saying when it's time for bed the technology should be nowhere near. 

"There's so many great things about it, but you know I see the negative things that can affect kids as well. You know, physically, mentally, that affect sleep," School Counselor Janell Mills said. 
 
Mills says she has a love hate relationship with technology... and that's because she's no stranger to the consequences that come from not getting enough sleep. 

"The next day they're either not here, they're sleeping, their coping skills over small frustrations are not there," Mills said.

Experts say without unplugging from technology before bed you may not ever fall into a deep enough sleep to feel well rested, which Mills says has a huge impact on classroom attendance. 
 
"That blue light from most of our devices is definitely hindering us from getting to sleep," Sleep Technologist with Avera Health, Darla Klinger said.

You may feel that shutting the TV off before bed is enough, but you should actually be unplugging from any technology at least 30 minutes before bed to get enough sleep.

The blue light emitted from your devices makes it harder for your body to produce enough of the hormone melatonin, which plays a critical role in getting you to sleep. 
 
"The television too, is the same sort of light. It creates almost a strobe light type of effect, in that it's almost more stimulating than other types of light can be," Klinger said. 

Klinger says even night lights can have a big effect on your sleep if the bulb isn't warm toned. 

"I compare sleep to, it's just as important as oxygen to us. We have to get good quality sleep, not just the quantity but quality of sleep," Klinger said. 

And without turning off your devices at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed, that quality sleep you need isn't going to happen.

"Get something put together so we have good habits established. So it doesn't make us physically ill, or emotionally tired where we're getting into situations that aren't healthy," Mills said. 

If you must have your cell phone before bed, Klinger says turning the brightness down will help lessen the effects of the screen light on your sleep.

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