Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Tablet or Smartphone Before Bed

A new study finds it’s a bad idea to use a smartphone or a tablet computer just before bed. The problem is reportedly related to the bright light emitted by these devices’ displays.

The study, which was carried our by Australian researchers, found using smartphones or tablet computers inhibited the production of melatonin, a natural substance that helps humans enter (and stay in) sleep mode.

shutterstock_138657503Researchers found the light put out by a smartphone or tablet screen is so bright that it effectively tricks our brains into thinking it’s the middle of the day.

The result of using these devices right before bed is a lousy sleep, which means lower productivity the following day. Not getting enough sleep can also have a number of negative effects on our health, such as increasing the chances of developing diabetes and cancer.

The study’s researchers also said it’s a bad idea to keep a tablet or smartphone near the bed, since our natural tendency is to want to check for new messages and emails.

Not only does that result in the screen brightness issue, but worrying about missed communications can also raise stress levels and result in a poor sleep.

The solution, according to the researchers: put those high-tech devices away at least two hours before going to bed and don’t bring them into the bedroom.

And if you simply must check your messages late at night, do it outside of the room where you sleep — that way your brain won’t associate the bedroom with stressful work.

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One Response to Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Tablet or Smartphone Before Bed

  1. These findings come and go every few years, and as far as I can tell are still inconclusive. There is plenty of research on the other side saying that the bright lights don’t cause sleep problems, and still others that claim even having a couple small LEDs (from electronics like your TV’s sleep indicator) on in the room will ruin your sleep.