Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bedrooms as Offices and Entertainment Centres Can Hurt Sleep and Intimacy: Gadgets Cut into Sleep, Intimacy in Bedroom

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bedrooms as Offices and Entertainment Centres Can Hurt Sleep and Intimacy: Gadgets Cut into Sleep, Intimacy in Bedroom

Article excerpt

MONTREAL - Bedrooms are getting crowded with gadgets, giving a good night's rest and nookie some serious competition, say sleep experts.

"Two things happen in the bedroom -- that's sleep and intimacy," said Dr. Robert Oexman, director of the Missouri-based Sleep to Live Institute.

But gadgets are interfering with both, Oexman said from Joplin, Mo.

In addition to TVs, computers, cellphones, e-readers and tablet computers are being used for work and entertainment in bedrooms, Oexman said.

"We involve ourselves with technology and it takes away our time to sleep."

Gadgets in the bedroom also lead to less intimacy, he said.

"Besides the television now, we also have the computer that goes to bed with you," Oexman said. "There is less intimacy associated in bedrooms."

Being exposed to light at night from these devices decreases the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps people sleep, he said.

Dr. Charles Samuels of the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance in Calgary said technology is intruding into people's lives when they should be winding down for sleep.

He notes there are teens who sleep with their cellphones turned on under their pillows to stay connected.

Technology can play a role in serious health consequences for teens such as weight gain, said Samuels.

"They're shortening their sleep and they're disturbing their sleep and that feeds into a cycle of excessive intake of high-calorie, dense foods," said Samuels, the centre's medical director.

Teens, who need more rest because they're growing, think they can handle all of this technology before bed, but they can't, he said.

"They need a one- to two-hour wind down where they're just not continuously stimulated so their brain can begin the process of going to sleep."

Some teens are tuning out the message.

Thirteen-year-old Mia says she's not convinced that being on her iPod Touch before bedtime playing games affects her rest. …

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