When new technology hits the market, like the recent iPad release, it goes flying off the shelves. Consumers are captured by newer, better, faster features, and can spend hours exploring the seemingly endless possibilities for work and personal life. However, researchers are now debating if iPads and laptops are affecting daily schedules in other ways. Is it possible that the shining star of Mac and similar devices are not just stealing the public’s heart, but also their sleep?
I-Pads and laptops are a valuable tool for work and for personal life. Their portability allows people to take the electronic devices almost anywhere, including to bed. Some researchers say that is when the new technology may be causing harm.
Some researchers claim that laptops and the new iPad may be disrupting sleep patterns, and in some cases contributing to insomnia, by fooling the user's brain into believing it's daytime. The deception occurs when the bright, blue light from the screen hits a user’s eyes and tells the brain that it’s daytime. The brain then stops producing melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate sleep-cycles by inducing sleepiness.
While some researchers believe that the iPad and similar devices are affecting sleep, others don’t believe the screen’s light is any cause for concern. Currently there has been no research conducted specifically on the topic.
However, if you have been using a laptop, iPad, or similar device at night and are having trouble sleeping, here are a few suggestions:
- Dim your screen or decrease blue hues.
- Switch to a device that doesn’t emit light, like the Kindle, or a good-old-fashioned book or paper report.
- Stop using light-emitting devices one or two hours before bedtime.