The iPad Gives You Insomnia



A new study suggests that light-emitting devices like the iPad keep you awake at night, while passive e-ink gadgets put you to sleep.Of course, some folks may enjoy that attribute.  And it’s hard to see the Kindle saving itself by marketing itself as a sleeping pill.

Mark Milian, LA Times:

Devices like the Kindle… use a technology called e-paper. It simulates the look of an actual printed page and does not emit light…

The iPad, however, contains a touchscreen liquid-crystal display that, like computer screens and television sets, emits light. On the plus side, you can sneak the device under the covers while your significant other sleeps beside you and flip through a couple pages of a book without a flashlight.

But staring at the screen before bed could leave you lying awake. That’s because direct exposure to such abnormal light sources inhibits the body’s secretion of melatonin, say several sleep experts… Melatonin signals are sent through the brain as a response to darkness, telling the body to prepare to shut down for the night.

Light-emitting devices, including mobile phones and yep, the iPad, tell the brain to stay alert. Because users hold those devices so close to their face, staring directly into the light, the effect is amplified compared with, say, a TV across the room or a bedside lamp, said Frisca Yan-Go, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders centre in Santa Monica.

Read the whole thing at the LAT >

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