There is a growing body of evidence that using an electronic device like an iPad before sleep isn’t good for your sleep. The issue is with devices that use a screen that shines light at you.
A recent report published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the Unites States of America under the title Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness defines the significance of the problem like this:
The use of light-emitting electronic devices for reading, communication, and entertainment has greatly increased recently. We found that the use of these devices before bedtime prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep, delays the circadian clock, suppresses levels of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, reduces the amount and delays the timing of REM sleep, and reduces alertness the following morning. Use of light-emitting devices immediately before bedtime also increases alertness at that time, which may lead users to delay bedtime at home. Overall, we found that the use of portable light-emitting devices immediately before bedtime has biological effects that may perpetuate sleep deficiency and disrupt circadian rhythms, both of which can have adverse impacts on performance, health, and safety.**
In other words, that electronic device shining light at you is seriously messing with your sleep.
The more I read about sleep the more I think that we are causing ourselves all sorts of damage by the ways we mess about with it.
Here’s some advice from the NHS on sleep hygiene:
Also reported here:
- The Guardian: Ebooks at night won’t help you sleep tight, US study finds
- Harvard Medical School: E-Readers Foil Good Night’s Sleep
- The Huffington Post: Reading On A Screen Before Bed Might Be Killing You
- Wired.co.uk: Screen reading before bed can ruin your sleep