Using a mobile before bed changes brain health and sleeping pattern

6th Dec 2016

Looking at the artificial light a screen gives off before bed; whether it be a mobile, laptop or eReader, can cause trouble falling asleep, waking up and general health. 

A new study tested the difference between people sleep patterns, alertness the next day and their health when either reading a book before bed or reading on an eReader screen. They found that participants who read on light-emitting devices took longer to fall asleep, had less REM sleep (dream state) and higher alertness before bedtime. They also found that those who used a device took longer to wake up after an 8 hour sleep period. 

The researchers believe more long-term health issues may be occurring due to more people choosing electronic devices for reading, communication and entertainment. Past studies have shown reduced sleep can link to obesity, diabetes and some forms of cancer. However, further research is needed to see if the screen light has this same effect on the body.

The researchers suggest that people change the filter colour of their screen, from the blue light to a more yellow colour (twilight filter), or to go the old fashioned way and to read an actual book.

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