Screen Reading Before Bed Still Bad For Sleep, And We All Still Do It

We've known for years that viewing electronics before bed disturbs or prevents sleep. But the National Sleep Foundation finds that 95 per cent of people are staring at screens — and two-thirds don't get enough sleep during the week.

Image via jencu.

As a helpful reminder, it's not just a motherly nag about "getting ready for bed" that makes screens before bed, or especially in bed, quite a bad idea. That may be part of it, as having a day-in, day-out routine helps your brain know when it should shift its activity toward rest. But that blue-ish light has a direct effect on your brain chemistry:

Charles Czeisler, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said exposure to artificial light before going to bed can increase alertness and suppress the release of melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone.

So, the song remains the same: try and get away from screens before bed, if you can, so you won't feel like falling into your screen the next day.

Not getting enough sleep? Turn off the technology [Reuters via Gizmodo]


    I read on the ipad every night. never had an issue sleeping. I sometimes fall asleep reading.

      Do you also dope up on caffeine throughout the day, then crash at night?

    Is it the brightness of the screen or the artificial light in general that affects sleep patterns?

    I go through my RSS feeds on my iphone to browse some fresh US news right before i go to bed. The lights in my bedroom are off, I'm lying in bed and the brightness is switched all the way down - will this still affect my sleep pattern?

    Does this include Kindles?

    I think a worse disadvantage to reading off screen is the lower retention rate as compared to print media.

    it's ironic, how i'm reading this before going to bed...

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