Britain in the grip of an epidemic of insomnia

Mobile phones and tablets are being blamed for leaving Britain in the grip of an epidemic of insomnia. The devices emit ‘blue light’ which disturbs our brains before bed time and means millions of us are going without enough sleep. Young people are suffering most, with more than nine in ten saying they do not get at least seven hours’ rest a night.
Now, the researchers are urging people to switch off mobile phones, tablets and even TVs at least two hours before hitting the hay. ‘It’s important to avoid them before bedtime,’ warned Hertfordshire University psychologist Richard Wiseman. ‘Getting less than seven hours’ sleep a night is below the recommended guidelines and is associated with a range of problems including an increased risk of weight gain, heart attacks, diabetes and cancer.’
Six in ten people say they do not get the recommended level of sleep, according to Prof Wiseman’s research. The figure is up by a fifth since a similar investigation a year ago by the National Sleep Foundation. Prof Wiseman said: ‘This is a huge rise and the results are extremely worrying.’
Nearly eight in ten say they are exposed daily to technology such as iPhones, iPads, laptops and other mobile devices. Experts fear the blue light they give off hampers the brain’s processing of the hormone melatonin, which can induce relaxation and sleep.