Study: Paper Beats iPad Before Bed

Next time your significant other complains that reading doesn’t put them to sleep the way it used to, tell them to put down their iPad and pick up that paperback classic you’ve been bugging them to read.

According to a recent study by the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, two-hour exposure to a backlit screen before bed can suppress melatonin by around 22 percent. (Melatonin is the compound in the human body that causes drowsiness.)


The study, led by Light and Health Program Director Mariana Figueiro, was published in the July 31st edition of the journal Applied Ergonomics, and funded by Sharp Laboratories of America.

Though only 13 people participated in the study, the data suggested that exposure to such backlit devices interferes with people’s natural circadian rhythms. Figueiro suggests both dimming devices and limiting your exposure to them as much as possible before bedtime. We suggest picking up that art book you never seem to find time to peruse.



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