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Study: Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness
According to the study:
- While people are using an iPad at night their body produces 55% less melatonin
- After shutting off the lights (and the iPad), they took an extra 10 minutes to fall asleep
- When they did fall asleep, they had less REM sleep during the night
- The next morning, the iPad readers felt sleepier, and it took them “hours longer” to feel alert. The book readers quickly felt more alert immediately upon waking.
- When it was time for bed the next night, the iPad readers’ circadian clocks were delayed by more than 90 minutes. Their bodies began to feel tired an hour and a half later than normal, because they were exposed to alerting light from the iPad the night before.
Each participant was tested with both the iPad and reading a book. Books on paper did not suppress melatonin or cause participants to feel groggy the next day.
The 5-day study was conducted by Anne-Marie Chang, Daniel Aeschbach, Jeanne F. Duffy, and Charles A. Czeisler at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital).