Bad news, e-reader users. A detailed study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that regular e-reader use before bedtime had many consequences on a regular sleep schedule.
The study had the test group read a paper book and an LED lit e-reader in the same room, with the same lighting, for multiple nights. After results from blood samples, sleep time and efficiency, and more, it was found that there was a disruption to the circadian rhythm in the night spent with an e-reader. They also found that it suppressed late night melatonin secretion, the chemical that starts to release and make you feel tired.
And this study only focused on the mere hours before bedtime; researchers acknowledge that more work needs to be done on the total replacement of paper books in reflective light for e-readers to see how daytime use affects overall fatigue and normal circadian rhythm.
There is good news here, though! The first is that the intensity of these affects can likely be diminished by buying a pair of blue light glasses. These glasses help diffuse the harsh light from any of your devices that ends up suppressing the production of melatonin. Another way to fix this is getting an e-reader with a warm light adjustment, or one that isn’t backlit at all.
The other good news is that e-readers were found to be good for eye health, simply for the reason of changing lighting and text size so you aren’t straining your eyes.
What do you think? Will you be sticking to paper books, or is the convenience of e-readers worth these consequences?