A 62-inch H-D TV set may be a status symbol, but one sleep expert says it may also be the reason Iowans aren’t getting enough shut-eye. Something called "delayed sleep phase," or the inability to fall asleep in a timely fashion, is a growing problem. Dr. William Baumann, a sleep specialist in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says the bright light given off by big TVs stimulates the brain to stay awake.
Baumann says "I think one of the reasons this delayed sleep phase has been developing in some of our younger folks is they are involved with a lot of this video and TV and light stimulus before they go to bed." He says it’s not just watching TV, but playing video games or sitting in front of the computer too.
Baumann, co-director of the Sleep Lab at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, says the size and type of screen may be affecting your sleep pattern. He says "These TV sets are getting bigger and bigger. They used to be fairly small T-Vs and now we are getting into high definition T-Vs and we’re seeing bigger T-Vs in the bedrooms now. It can affect you and it can delay the time you get to sleep."
Baumann says sleep deprivation is on the rise and he suggests keeping these devices out of the bedroom altogether. He says it’s also a good idea to avoid the screens close to bedtime to allow the body to prepare for sleep.