Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Technology responsible lack of quality sleep, Study

Addictions to technology, early-morning boot camps, more shiftwork and longer commutes are reasons for deterioration in quality sleep, a new study has found.

Australians are increasingly suffering from insomnia and disturbed sleep, even though the average amount of hours we spend sleeping has extended by ten minutes since 1992 to 8 hours and 30 minutes.

"People are turning their bedrooms into home theatres and offices instead of a place for sleep and the three-letter word," News.com.au quoted sleep physician Associate Professor Brendon Yee as saying.
Studies have shown there is an increasing use of technology in bed, such as people using Facebook and Twitter on their iPads or iPhones, he said.

Symptoms of insomnia were up four percent and clinical insomnia up three percent, according to recent studies, Associate Professor Nick Glozier of the Brain and Mind Research Unit at Sydney University said.

Lengthening commuting times and sunrise boot camps have been blamed by sleep experts, but Associate Professor Yee said that technology addiction as the main culprit.

Ongoing sleeping problems can increase the chances of getting cardiovascular disease, psychiatric disorders and high blood pressure.

The increasing rates of obesity and shiftwork are also linked to sleep disorders.

By the end of this year it is estimated there will be about 1.5 million shift workers in Australia.

Shiftwork-intensive industries such as mining, healthcare, transport and accommodation and food services will also account for 45 per cent of all new jobs over the next five years, according to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Coupled with consumer expectations of a 24-hour service economy, Professor Yee predicts the problem is only going to get worse without some serious attention to quality rest.

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