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Evening Use of Light-Emitting Tablets May Disrupt Healthy Sleep

A new Physiological Reports study reveals that evening use of light-emitting tablets can induce delays in desired bedtimes, suppress secretion of melatonin (the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness), and impair next-morning alertness.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:50 am EDT
"These findings provide more evidence that light-emitting electronic devices have biological effects"

A new Physiological Reports study reveals that evening use of light-emitting tablets can induce delays in desired bedtimes, suppress secretion of melatonin (the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness), and impair next-morning alertness.

Nine healthy adults participated in a randomized and counterbalanced study comparing 5 consecutive evenings of unrestricted use of light-emitting tablet computers versus evenings reading from printed materials.

On evenings when using light-emitting tablets, participants’ self-selected bedtimes were on average half an hour later, and they showed suppressed melatonin levels, delayed timing of melatonin secretion onset, and later sleep onset. When using the tablets, participants rated themselves as less sleepy in the evenings and less alert in the first hour after awakening on the following mornings.

 “These findings provide more evidence that light-emitting electronic devices have biological effects,” said co-author Dr. Jeanne Duffy, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “Using light-emitting electronic devices in the late evening can postpone our decision to go to sleep, and make us more sleepy the next morning.” 

Additional Information

Link to Studyhttps://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.14814/phy2.13692

About Journal

Physiological Reports is an online only, open access journal that will publish peer reviewed research across all areas of basic, translational, and clinical physiology and allied disciplines. Physiological Reports is a collaboration between The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society, and is therefore in a unique position to serve the international physiology community through quick time to publication while upholding a quality standard of sound research that constitutes a useful contribution to the field.

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Contact:

Penny Smith
+44 (0) 1243 770448
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com

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