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Having Trouble Sleeping? Your Tablet or Smartphone Could Be to Blame

Science and Technology

Having Trouble Sleeping? Your Tablet or Smartphone Could Be to Blame

The way you use your smartphones or tablets could be the reason of you having trouble sleeping. New research suggests that using an electronic gadget with a backlit display for just two hours before bed can cause sleep problems, with teenagers especially

By Admin 30th Aug, 2012 12:58 pm


The way you use your smartphones or tablets could be the reason of you having trouble sleeping.

New research suggests that using an electronic gadget with a backlit display for just two hours before bed can cause sleep problems, with teenagers especially at likely to experience problems.

Mariana Figueiro from the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute believe the problem arises because backlit displays interfere with the body’s level of melatonin, the chemical which controls our body clocks.

She said: “Our study shows that a two-hour exposure to light from self-luminous electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about 22 percent and this may affect sleep in those using the devices prior to bedtime.

“We recommended dimming these devices at night as much as possible in order to minimize melatonin suppression, and limiting the amount of time spent using these devices prior to bedtime.”

The team conducted their tests using a tablet computer, but believe any gadget with a backlit display could have a similar effect.

Most phones and tablets, with the notable exception of Amazon’s Kindle and many other e-books, have such a display.


Picture credit: Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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