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Brits blame electronics for insomnia

Britain is the most sleep-deprived nation in Europe. And an increasing number of insomniacs are blaming gadgets such as cell phones and BlackBerrys for their suffering.

Despite their calm demeanor and sweet, jovial humanity, it appears that the British are Europe's worst sleepers.

Sixteen percent of Brits claim their nights are not like white satin. (The finest European sleepers are, in fact, the Spanish, of whom only 2.4 percent report problems. We can learn a lot from the Spanish.)

While the British do accuse stresses associated with their jobs, their bank accounts, or their miserable spouses of keeping them up and getting them down, there is a new abomination for insomniacs: gadgets.

Yes, we can now happily diagnose a new disease for which some fine commercial entity might create a pill: electronic insomnia.

CC Lee Nachtigal

BlackBerrys, laptops and cell phones are triggering problems before bedtime, problems that creep into sleep like lice into locks. It seems that men over 30 find it hardest to switch off because they can't switch their gadgets off.

You'd think the traditional British remedy of eight pints of lager would do the trick, but apparently not.