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What keeps you up at night?

Surprising research from the SLEEP 2013 conference sheds new light on why you might be suffering from sleep deprivation.

By Markham Heid for

PreventionYour cell phone isn’t (always) the enemy of sleep, and too much physical activity could be keeping you up at night. Those are two of the unexpected findings presented at SLEEP 2013, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Read on for information about those ZZZ-related surprises and more from SLEEP 2013.

1. It’s fine to spend time on your cell phone or other devices at night—if you adjust the light settings, finds research from Mayo Clinic. A few recent studies have proved that light above a brightness level of 30 lux suppresses your body’s natural supply of melatonin—a hormone essential for healthy sleep regulation. An iPhone or iPad at full brightness (held close to your face) pumps your eyeballs full of light that exceeds 120 lux, according to the Mayo research. But by holding the device 14 inches from your face or by adjusting down its brightness level to less than 50 percent of max, you can spend time on tablets, computers, or smart phones in bed without disrupting your sleep cycle, explains study co-author Lois Krahn, MD, a sleep expert at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Keep reading to find out more sleep surprises…

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