It’s high time now to stop the habit of using electronic appliances such as smartphones, iPads and e-readers no matter how much ever you are addicted to them. Till now we have seen researchers and doctors warning us not to use electronic gadgets before bed time as they cause trouble in falling sleep but now it’s even more than this, latest studies from the National Institute of Health say reading or browsing from lit screen can be more hazardous than actually one could have thought of.
Women’s Hospital and Brigham researchers have at random assigned dozen participants to 2 groups; one group was asked to read books that were printed for 4 hours before going to bed for 5 days while the second group was asked to read e-books on electronic gadgets such as iPad. After the lapse of 5 nights, the group members were shifted, while the first switched to e-reading the second switched to printed books and have noted the response of participants for each kind of reading.
As one can easily guess, participants who used electronic gadgets took long time to fall sleep every night when compared to those who read paper books. They even noticed that people using gadgets were less sleepy prior to bedtime in addition to having lesser REM sleep.
The researchers while analyzing the biological effects deeply have also found that people using iPad secreted less amount of melatonin: hormone which rises naturally during night and leads to sleepiness. This decreased secretion of melatonin levels also caused more than an hour delay in the circadian rhythm of people who used e-reading.
The researchers said that light could possibly shake up the internal clock disturbing the sleep pattern.
The study’s co-author Anne-Marie Chang also said that the body’s usual circadian rhythms had been disturbed by the small wavelength filled light also called as blue light emitted from electronic devices.
He also said that participants who read an eBook took long time in falling asleep apart from having lessened evening sleeps, lowered secretion of melatonin, and also lessened alertness in the day.
The other noteworthy finding was that the women and men were feeling sleepy the next day morning though they had 8 hours sleep.
Though the researchers have used iPads in the study they say the effect could be alike for all kinds of light-producing devices such as laptops, smartphones, kindles, phablets and all kinds of tablets. The study also said that amongst 1,508 US citizens 90% of them use some kind of light-emitting gadget before hitting the bed.
The essence of such studies and their results are much vital as said by the researchers due to increased number of people suffering from lack of sleep due to increased use of light emitting gadgets, this is much true to children and adolescents.
As science is exploring the effects of light emitting gadgets, more and more side effects associated with using them are coming to light.