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Sleep better by avoiding smart phones, tablets before bed

Look Up: The latest in a series of stories on 11Alive News Today examines why it's so important to disconnect from devices.

ATLANTA -- If you had a tough time waking up this morning, your smart phone or table might be to blame.

Dr. David Schulman,Medical Director of theEmory Sleep Disorders Laboratory, said using yourdevice right before bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep.

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"If we check our e-mail frequently, those are not particularly relaxing activities. Oftentimes they're engaging," Dr. Schulman said. "We see something from a friend. We want to respond to it. We shouldn't be trying to do that in the 15-20 minutes before bedtime."

Dr. Schulman said the light source inside your device can also cause sleep problems by overstimulating your mind.

"Rewind to the days before electronics. The way human beings knew when to be awake and when to be asleep was the presence of sunlight," Dr. Schulman said."Well, the light coming from your device isn't sunlight. It's a heck of a lot closer to your face than sunlight. As a result, it can have a very alerting affect."

Dr. Schulman discourages using a tablet to read before bed.

He saida book and reading lamp work better to help you fall asleep since the light points down toward the book instead of right into your eyes.

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