You’ve probably heard before that the blue light from your digital devices can interrupt your sleep if you use them too close to bedtime, sapping your productivity the next day. Good news: Research shows a way you might be able to get away with using your phone or tablet in bed without affecting your sleep.
Photo by <<davemc>>
The light from our devices can interfere with the production of melatonin, which controls the natural sleep-wake cycles. The Mayo Clinic found the settings that would keep your phone under the threshold of light that supresses melatonin, 30 lux:
A Mayo Clinic study suggests dimming the smartphone or tablet brightness settings and holding the device at least 14 inches from your face while using it will reduce its potential to interfere with melatonin and impede sleep.
In the study, researchers experimented with two tablets and a smartphone in a dark room, using a meter on its most sensitive setting to measure the light the devices emitted at various settings when held various distances from a person’s face. They discovered that when brightness settings were lowered and the devices were held just over a foot from a user’s face, it reduced the risk that the light would be bright enough to suppress melatonin secretion and disrupt sleep.
So if you want to read on your tablet in bed, go ahead. Just keep the tablet far enough from your face and don’t use the fullest brightness setting.