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PORTLAND -- People who have trouble getting a good night's sleep might want to look first at their bedroom and their evening routine.

Experts recommend taking certain things out of your bedroom, in order to get the proper rest you need.

I've always had trouble sleeping. My mind just races so fast and it just, it just keeps me up, said Rick McDaniel, a Portland resident.

I'm just exhausted [at the end of the day], just ready for bed, said Beaverton Resident, Christopher Gheen.

Sound familiar?

Most people need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep, said Dr. Bill Bowerfind, a Providence sleep expert. But so few of us actually get that much sleep.

I'd be lucky if I get 4 or 5 hours, said Krista Halliday, a Portland Resident who had insomnia for years.

Can you catch up on sleep? Bowerfind said it is very difficult.

If you think about it, missing an hour of sleep every night or cutting back by an hour of sleep every night can lead to about 7 or 8 hours of sleep deprivation by the end of the week. That's equivalent to a full night of sleep loss every week, said Dr. Bill Bowerfind.

He said one key is to avoid electronics just before bed. It turns out that the light given off by the e-readers, iPads, electronic devices, computer screens, even your phone can be enough light to suppress the body's release of melatonin, he said.

He explained that melatonin is the hormone released by the brain to help maintain sleep at night. He recommends books to help you relax - but the real thing. That's because the light reflected off of a printed page is less than the light from electronic devices including televisions.

The bright light from these sources can actually inhibit the body's ability to secrete melatonin and maintain sleep, said Dr. Bowerfind.

He said the best way to do that is to stop carving time out of our sleep time.

Sleep is no longer a priority in our society and I think we need to begin to put more emphasis on attaining that 7 to 9 hours of sleep that we need. It'll make us all more efficient in the end, said Bowerfind.

If you're thinking about making up lost sleep over the weekend, Bowerfind said it won't be easy. He said it's a debt that needs to be re-paid slowly over time.

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