Research: Reading On A Screen Before Bed Might Be Killing You

You might have heard that using screens before bedtime can mess with
your sleep, but a new research suggests the problem is even more serious
because it could be killing you. The Huffington Post has more:

Reading from an iPad before bed not only makes it harder
to fall asleep, but also impacts how sleepy and alert you are the next
day, according to new research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in
Boston, Massachusetts. The study, published in the journal Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, said the findings could
impact anyone who uses an eReader, laptop, smartphone, or certain TVs
before bed.

The new research supports conclusions from older studies, which have
also found that screen time before sleep can be detrimental.

“We know from previous work that light from screens in the evening
alters sleepiness and alertness, and suppresses melatonin levels,” Dr.
Anne-Marie Chang, an associate neuroscientist in BWH’s Division of Sleep
and Circadian Disorders who was a co-author on the study, told The
Huffington Post via email. “This study shows comprehensive results of a
direct comparison between reading with a light-emitting device and
reading a printed book and the consequences on sleep.”

If you don’t want to feel like a zombie during the day, the findings
are clear: Read an actual, printed book if you must stimulate your mind
before bed, and avoid screens like your life depends on it, because it
actually might. Chang said that sleep deficiency — not getting enough
sleep or obtaining poor quality sleep — has been linked to other health
problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Chronic
suppression of melatonin has also been associated with increased risk of
certain cancers, she said.

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