Technology is a troublesome entity, it posses the ability to inspire and share information instantaneously, but it is also known for unpleasant side effects.
Tablets and E-readers have almost completely destroyed the necessity for paper books, magazines, and other forms of reading material. People of all ages, from the cradle to the grave, can be observed clutching a rectangular, electronic reading device in their hands. Children use these devices to read, spell, and play games. Teens use them for similar activities, but mostly for listing to music, watching videos, and rotting their brains while wasting time on social media. The elderly also use these informative, computerize tools, but they tend to not be able to utilize them very well. Its warm, glowing light illuminates our dark rooms into the early hours of the morning, as we turn psedo-pages’ on the electronic contraption. But, why do these devices keep people awake? Is it the riveting content being displayed on the screen, or an even more disturbing phenomenon?
A study performed by scientists at Harvard University, have made connections between disruptions in sleep patterns and the use of electronic tablet devices, similar to the IPad. The researchers have found that when these devices, compared to paper books, are used in the hours before a person attempts to sleep they will often find themselves unable to obtain a deep slumber, and will awake feeling ill-rested.
The cause of the tablet induced insomnia is speculated to be caused by the bright light projected from the device. This light is noted to have suppressed the production of the hormone melatonin in the test subjects’ brain. Melatonin is a vital hormone needed to promote a healthy and fulfilling sleep cycle. Throughout the day the levels of this hormone increase, inducing sleepiness, and then reaches its peak levels once the person attains a deep slumber.
The study involved 12 young adults, who read for four hours, in a dimly lit room before going to sleep. Half of the group read E-books while the other half read paper books, this process continued over the course of 6 nights, each night the subjects would alternate between an electronic book and a paper book.
E-book readers were discovered to take longer to fall asleep, and spent less time involved in REM sleep, and complained of feeling poorly rested, with difficulties waking up the next day. Blood tests on the E-book test subjects produced signs of an elevation in melatonin production.
If a person has the desire to read before bed, they should choose to reach for a standard, old-fashioned paper book, to prevent insomnia and sleepless nights.