BEACON TRANSCRIPT – It’s no mystery that electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones keep us awake. Who can sleep when our best friend posted a funny pic on Facebook? According to a Norwegian research project, smart devices can alter our sleep quality, keeping us awake at night more than usual.
Although it has been known for some time now that devices which emit a bright light such as an iPad can alter our sleeping patterns. Recently, a team of sleep scientists from the University of Bergen wanted to see what happens when someone uses a tablet or a smart device before going to bed versus reading a physical book.
Janne Gronli, the lead author of the study, declared that the sleep experiment indicated that smart devices like tablets and smartphones used 30 minutes before sleep reduce the amount of the sleepiness felt by the subject.
Moreover, the team found out that participants who’ve used a table compared to those who’ve read from a physical book had different brain activity.
To see how smart devices affect the quality of our sleep, the team of scientists invited 16 members to take part in a sleep study. All the participants were nonsmokers, and they’ve had ages between 22 and 33.
Moreover, neither one of the volunteers had any sleep related disorders. The experiment, which took place over a week, wanted to see how different factors such as illumination, time spent on a tablet versus time spent reading a book will affect the quality of sleep.
During the first three days, the participants were asked to go to bed and to wake up at regular intervals without reading from a device or a book.
Using polysomnography, the team took a couple of preliminary readings from the participants. They’ve accounted for blood pressure, brain activity (EEG), duration of REM sleep stages, sleep efficiency and how much time did the participants spent in each sleep phase.
After doing the baseline reading, the doctors asked the participants to read from an iPad on the first night and on the second night to try reading a book.
Doctor Gronli said that the participants who used a table felt less sleepy on the first night compared to the patients who read a physical book on the second night.
The team stated that smart devices like iPads emit a high quantity of short wavelength blue light. By absorbing these short burst of light, the brain is tricked into believing that it’s daytime, thus keeping the rest of the body alert.
In conclusion, the team stated that short wavelength blue light may delay the brain from entering the slow wave sleep phase which is believed to have countless restorative properties.
Photo credits: pixabay