21st Jan 2015
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Is using technology in bed harmful?
Is using technology in bed harmful?

A new study undertaken by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, has investigated the effects of reading from electronic screens in bed before you go to sleep.

It’s common knowledge that staring into a screen just before bed is going to affect your sleeping, but are the consequences more serious than that? This research suggests they are.

The study required participants to spend four hours reading from either a real book or an iPad screen, for five consecutive nights, just before going to bed.

The iPad readers were found to take longer to fall asleep, and feel less sleepy, secreted less melatonin, and were less alert in the morning – despite having the same amount of sleep as the book readers.

Melatonin is a hormone which plays a large role in determining when you get sleepy, and previous research has shown that it is supressed by blue light emitted by devices. This is why the iPad readers’ sleeping patterns were altered.

Having less sleep, or poor quality sleep, has been linked to many health problems such as diabetes and obesity. The researchers also stated that recent evidence has linked chronic melatonin suppression to an increased risk of developing cancer.

Although the test was carried out on iPads, the researchers noted that smartphones, laptops and computer monitors all emit blue light.

Do you use technology in bed? And will you continue to do so after reading this?

Read more on Huffington Post.

Read the study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.





    COMMENTS

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    nev37
    22nd Jan 2015
    10:39am
    Doesn't apply to e-ink book readers like the Kindle, Kobo etc.
    particolor
    22nd Jan 2015
    10:50am
    The only thing I object to in bed is Eating Biscuits and Cutting Your Toe Nails !!
    Troubadour
    22nd Jan 2015
    10:56am
    Still prefer the good old normal paper book - can't beat it, and can't afford a laptop or an
    Ipad anyway!
    particolor
    22nd Jan 2015
    11:09am
    Yep ! Same here !! I've never had a Paper Back with a flat Battery Yet !!
    Quentin
    22nd Jan 2015
    11:18am
    Hi Guys - I know you provide a link to the Huff Post but I think your article would have been better if you had included the link to F.Lux which would certainly appear to at least ameliorate the problem.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jan 2015
    11:44am
    eh?
    particolor
    23rd Jan 2015
    11:57am
    What's the F stand for ?
    particolor
    13th Jul 2015
    1:26pm
    Send My regards to Amelia Muddle :-)
    Jennie
    22nd Jan 2015
    1:04pm
    I think the issue is connected to the blue light emitted by the screens. I read a Kindle in bed as reading helps me sleep. I note from nev37 that this problem is not caused by Kindle - mine is a Kindle Fire, but I always have the screen set to sepia colour background. Whether I have a blue light effect or not through the sepia, or whether a Kindle Fire has a different issue from, say, Kindle Paperwhite I don't know. Does anyone know?
    nev37
    22nd Jan 2015
    2:12pm
    The light emitted by an iPad or similar tablet (and computer screens and LCD TV's ) is different to the reflected room light from a Kindle e-ink page (or a paper page for that matter) , or the front-illuminating LED on a Kindle Paperwhite.
    The Kindle Fire is a tablet, with the light emitted by the screen itself. Smart phones fall into the same light emitting category - difference is only in scale.
    pate
    22nd Jan 2015
    4:11pm
    Certainly does not apply to CD's, the best way to go to sleep in my opinion. I have vision problems & cannot see to read very much so listen to books on CD, the only way to go as far as I am concerned,
    Judy in the hills
    23rd Jan 2015
    12:37am
    I read books and I also have a Kindle E-Reader and find it fantastic for bedtime reading. Have read far more 'books' than I ever used to prior to having the Kindle. Its lightweight for holding up while lying down and I don't feel any less rested comparing a standard book or the Kindle. I can have a good night or a bad night sleeping regardless of having spent time reading or NOT. Can't judge the melatonin etc. etc. though. Now where is my Kindle - I'm off to bed!!!!!
    Polly Esther
    23rd Jan 2015
    4:40pm
    I'm sure there's an even better purpose for a bed than using it to read in, but I have nightmares trying to remember.
    particolor
    23rd Jan 2015
    5:53pm
    Well with a name like Willie Poker I'm darn Sure I wouldn't forget !!
    biddi
    13th Jul 2015
    12:50pm
    Hee hee
    particolor
    13th Jul 2015
    1:27pm
    Her Her


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