September 24, 2017
Screens in Bed Are Bad for You
Wellness Tip

Screens in Bed Are Bad for You

by Berkeley Wellness  |  

Be aware that reading on a light-emitting device such as a tablet, computer monitor, or smartphone before bedtime can interfere with sleep, a small Harvard study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed. Such devices emit blue light, which can increase alertness and suppress production of the sleep-facilitating hormone melatonin.

When participants read on such a device (iPads were used, set at maximum bright­ness) for four hours before bedtime, they had lower melatonin levels, were less sleepy, had more trouble falling asleep, spent less time in restorative REM sleep, and were less alert the next morning than when they read a printed book. Some previous research found similar problems with shorter use. If you read on a light-emitting device and have sleep problems, limit its use at night or at least dim it as much as possible.