It’s been a long day and you’re shattered, but for some reason you just can’t drop off to sleep. Before you start blaming the mid-afternoon coffee, could the culprit be your evening iPad session? Mariana Figueiro of the Lighting Research Center* found that two hours of tablet computer use at a maximum brightness level was enough to suppress the normal night-time release of melatonin, a key hormone that tells your body it is night and makes you sleepy. Delaying the signal can impact the ease at which you fall asleep. On the upside, a morning session could act as light therapy to help wake you up, or even assist with seasonal affective disorder treatment.
Read the full feature in the May 2013 issue of Psychologies Magazine.
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*‘Light level and duration of exposure determine the impact of self-luminous tablets on melatonin suppression.’ Figueiro, M; Wood, B; et al, Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA.