Doctors warn about using electronics in bed

Local doctors warn about impacts on sleep, back, neck

ORLANDO, Fla. - New products are on the market that could make you more comfortable when you use your smartphones, tablets, laptops right before you go to sleep.

"Everybody's got a tablet, everybody's got an iPad, laptops, they're all working from home a lot more these days," says Amy Stephens, the manager at Brookstone in the Mall At Millenia.

Stores like Brookstone are rolling out a new line of products and the numbers show that using electronics in bed has become somewhat of a ritual.

The mobile security company, Good Technology, just polled 1,000 people. And half of them admitted to using their devices in bed almost every night.

"It's so much easier to have products in your life that would help that, instead of trying to fumble with all your gadgets and all your wires and all your cords," says Stephens.

One of those products is the eComfort Home Office, which costs $60. It's a workspace you put on your lap to improve your posture when you're using your devices in bed.

Doctors say good posture is key, because, they claim, they're seeing more people with upper-body pain from using their electronics in bed.

Another product that may help is the eComfort Shiatsu Bed Lounger for $150. It's designed to be more stable than a regular pillow, to keep your back straight.

If you're the kind of person who takes their work home, answering emails in bed, you're probably not alone but you're probably jeopardizing your sleep.

"I've had a number of patients who literally sleep with their blackberries, and sometimes they get awoken in the middle of the night by having to answer pages from bosses," says Dr. Hal Pineless, a neurologist at the NeuroCare Institute in Orlando.

He warns patients about using mobile devices late at night in bed.

"I always tell people that the bed is for two things. It's for sleep and it's for sex," says Dr. Pineless

He adds that the glow from your electronics can keep your brain fired up, and make it harder for you to fall asleep.

"Sometimes the light that is stimulated could keep you a little more awake by stimulating the centers in your brain that are very sensitive to light," says Dr. Pineless.

He also adds that you might want to give yourself a cutoff time for using your electronics, like two hours before going to bed.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.