In less than a decade, reading has shifted from the medium it dominated for centuries—paper—to screens of various sorts. The change in habit has been accompanied by concerns over whether this could be influencing sleep. Exposure to light biased toward blue wavelengths, such as that produced by the screens of tablets, has been shown to alter the circadian rhythms that set the body’s clock.
A number of studies have suggested that this is a real problem—enough that the Mayo Clinic’s advice on getting better sleep notes that “Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.” Now, new research published in PNAS provides some hard numbers to back up these worries. But it’s a small study with some significant limitations, so this shouldn’t be seen as the final word on the topic.
My narcolepsy kept me from participating in the study 😉