SLU doctor shines light on what keeps us up at night

The CDC reports a third of adults don't receive enough sleep.

Elise Rich
August 15, 2019 - 9:31 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — You need to put the phone down at least an hour before bed, according to Dr. Brent Haberman, a pediatric sleep specialist for SLU Care. The bright lights from your smart phone delay the secretion of an important hormone: melatonin. 

"When you don't secrete that melatonin, you don't get a sensation of sleepiness. And it can also push your internal clock a little bit later, which is what happens to most kids over the summer," Haberman said.

It's not just hand held electronics messing up sleeping habits. Children with TVs in their rooms lose an average of 45 minutes of sleep a night, compared with those who don't.

Dr. Haberman said it's best to move the electornics out of the room.

"Reading under dim light is a great way to wind down," Haberman said. "For younger kids, bath time followed by story time if they can't read yet, followed by bed is a also a great wind-down routine."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about one third of adults don't get enough sleep. For children, more than 60% of middle and high schoolers don't get enough sleep.

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