A team of researchers from the Medical School of Harvard University compared the effects of reading classic books and e-reading before bed. Their findings showed that the users of electronic devices have more difficulties to fall asleep, because of the backlights.
Scientists warn that If you fancy reading before bedtime, but your choice is still the online edition instead of the classic book, then you should know that you will sleep worse, and you may cause a further harm to your health.
According to BBC, a team of researchers from the Medical School of Harvard University compared the effects of reading the classic book and the e-version just before sleep and discovered that the ones using electronic devices have difficulties to go to sleep, sleep restlessly and wake up more tired in the morning.
In fact, the blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets and LED lights can disrupt our internal biological clock. The blue light in the evening can slow down or even prevent the production of melatonin, a hormone that is responsible for sleep.
Experts from Harvard University conducted an experiment participating 12 volunteers. They read a classic book for five days before bedtime and afterwards, electronic publications on the iPad for five more days. Blood samples from the participants in this study showed reduced production of melatonin, which coincides with the disorder in the circadian rhythm, or our biological clock, even for an hour and a half.
The researchers, whose results were published in the Annals of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), concluded that those individuals who have decided to read on the iPad or any other smart device, will also need more time to sleep (10 minutes in average), and in addition, will have less REM sleep and will wakes up more tired than usual.
-- Light emitted by most e-readers radiates directly in the eyes, and in the case of a classic book, the reader is exposed only to the light that was deducted from the pages of the book. It has been proven that lack of sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, but cancer as well, -warns the leader of the study, Professor Charles Zisler, adding that the medical community too is significantly concerned with the results of this research.
Zisler advises people to use less smart devices before bedtime. This especially concerns teenagers who are prone to using mobile phones and tablets until late at night.