People can face sleeping problems if they use an electronic
gadget for two hours before going to bed.
This is according to a study carried out by the Lighting Research
Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It found that
exposure to self-luminous backlit displays causes the suppression
of melatonin - a hormone that plays a crucial part in the human
It means individuals, especially teenagers, may find it tough to
nod off. Mariana Figueiro, who led the research team, noted
manufacturers can use the results to work out how products such as
these affect circadian system regulation.
"Our study shows that a two-hour exposure to light from
self-luminous electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about
22 per cent. Stimulating the human circadian system to this level
may affect sleep in those using the devices prior to bedtime," she
As part of the investigation, which has been published in the
journal Applied Ergonomics, 13 individuals used self-luminous
tablets to read, play games and watch movies.
Ms Figueiro recommends people to dim gadgets as much as possible
at night time to minimise the effect it has on sleeping.
Rensselaer researcher Brittany Wood observed that developments in
technology have led to the creation of much bigger and brighter
TVs, computer screens and mobile phones. In order to make enough
white light, these products emit light at short wavelengths and it
is this that delays the onset of melatonin in the evening.
According to Netmums health visitor Maggie Fisher, staying in a
good sleeping pattern is essential for mums and dads. She added if
parents do not get enough shut eye, they can struggle to cope with
the demands of looking after children.
Her comments come after research by Netmums found only 36 per cent
of parents have one-year-olds that sleep right through the night.
In order to improve their level of slumber, mothers and fathers
should not be afraid to invest in high-quality beds and mattresses.
Posted by Michael Ewing