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CDC Calls Insufficient Sleep a Health Epidemic

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BRIDGEPORT -

When that alarm goes off in the morning do you feel refreshed and energized? Or groggy and ready to go back to bed? It's likely you feel the latter. But you're not alone.

A Better Sleep Council survey shows that half of all Americans are sleep deprived and in March the Center for Disease control said that insufficient sleep has become a health epidemic.

"Sleep deprivation affects so many different aspects of our lives," said Traci Holbert of Pulmonary Associates and Sleep Center. "From just being alert in the daytime, to the physical toll it takes on our body, things like diabetes, high blood pressure."

Pulmonary Associates & Sleep Center in Bridgeport said losing 90-minutes of sleep at night can reduce your alertness by 30 percent. That can make driving dangerous and decrease your work productivity.

So what's causing the problem to grow?

Technology plays a part. Cell phones, tablets, and computers lying right beside your bed can omit light and sound throughout the night, which can keep you from having optimal sleep.

"Even though you feel like you're asleep and the light coming on is not particularly bothering you, your brain still reacts to any kind of stimulus going on," Holbert said. "Whether it's the TV in the background or the ding it makes."

Holbert recommends turning off your phone at night, and removing yourself from technology an hour before going to bed. She also adds that setting a solid sleep schedule will help you develop positive sleeping habits.

Educating your kids is important, too. Computers and phones beside the bed is a big part of the technology generation.

"The phones can't cause sleep apnea per se, but it can definitely can cause a sleep disorder, because it can mess up their circadian rhythms because the melatonin is not being produced because of the light being produced. It creates a problem with their bio-rhythms basically," Holbert said.