Sleep Devices

Sleep Devices
Having trouble sleeping? The culprit may be your smartphone or tablet. Here's how to stay connected and still get a good night's rest.

I get a lot of questions from people who have trouble sleeping. Stress levels from work, school and our personal lives can impact slumber quality in a bad way. But a bigger problem in this modern age, with iPads and smartphones being commonplace, is the technology we use and when we use it. If you're checking Instagram or email before you hit the hay, your sleep may be suffering as a result.

A recent study from Brigham and Women's Hospital shows just how detrimental these electronics can be. The researchers had subjects read from a printed book or an iPad for four hours before bedtime for five consecutive nights. They reported in a 2014 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that when the subjects read on the iPad, it took them longer to fall asleep, they were less sleepy in the evening and they spent less time in REM sleep during the night than when they read the printed book.

With the late-evening iPad exposure, individuals also showed a reduced secretion of melatonin, a critical sleep hormone that normally rises in the evening and plays a role in inducing tiredness, as well as a delayed circadian rhythm of more than an hour. Although subjects were less sleepy before bedtime when they read on...

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