Reading before bed is a healthy and enjoyable habit that helps many to fall asleep. But, according to a new study, it is better to choose traditional paper books for this, rather than reading from a tablet. According to scientists from Pennsylvania State University, reading from electronic devices negatively affects sleep patterns and concentration.
For two weeks, the authors of the study observed twelve healthy young people who read either paper books or texts from e-books before going to bed (all study participants completed both tasks). Scientists monitored the level of melatonin in their blood, and also using special devices tracked how long it takes them to fall asleep, and their sleep phases.
It turned out that the use of light-emitting e-books prevented study participants from falling asleep, decreased their REM sleep, and also significantly inhibited the rise in melatonin levels, which usually rises in people before bed and regulates sleep-wake cycles. That is, those who read from e-books took longer to fall asleep, and in the morning they were more sleepy. Perhaps, before going to bed, you should really put the tablet away and take a regular paper book instead.
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