Virtual overload disrupts sleep

NZ Herald April 27, 2008

More Kiwi children are being treated for sleep disorders after overloading on technology before bedtime. Specialists say computers, gaming consoles and texting disturb sleep patterns and cause learning, concentration and growth problems. Dr Alex Bartle, director of the Sleep Well Clinic, which has branches in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, said there was no question technology kept children awake. Computer games and social networking sites such as Bebo and Facebook were worse than TV for over-stimulating young minds because they were more “interactive”.

They should be switched off at least an hour before bedtime. “To fall asleep, you need to have a certain amount of calmness in the brain,” said Bartle. “To be agitated or excited doesn’t help those brainwaves settle.”