Bedtime troubles: Using e-reader at bedtime may wreck your sleep

You might want to think again about reading that tablet before going to bed. Rather than helping you sleep, using a glowing e-reader at bedtime may actually prevent you from getting a good night’s rest, a new study suggests. Researchers compared the quality of sleep of participants who used an e-reader before bed with the quality of their sleep after reading a printed book before bed. Over a period of 14 days, 12 participants read for four hours in dim light for five consecutive days using a light-emitting e-reader, and also read a printed book before bed for five consecutive days under similar conditions. It turns out that when light-emitting e-readers were used, participants experienced reduced evening sleepiness, took longer to fall asleep, and had reduced next-morning alertness compared to when old-fashioned print books were read.

The use of light-emitting devices immediately before bedtime is a concern because light is the most potent environmental signal that impacts the human circadian clock and may therefore play a role in perpetuating sleep deficiency.

New report published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences