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Technology and sleep


In the past, most of us would tuck up with a good book before bed, spending an hour or so reading before drifting off. Numerous sleep experts recommend a quiet activity like reading as a great bridge between the waking and sleeping world, but before you go picking up that smart phone or tablet to read an article, remember that the medium matters.

Sure reading a book and a smart phone are the same in process, but their effects are quite different. The good old fashioned book is not backlit, whereas you smart phone and tablet most certainly are backlit and this makes all the difference.

Our body clocks are regulated by external cues, namely light levels and colours. Staring at a backlit screen for a couple of hours before going to bed can play havoc with your body clock, which in turn effects the quality and quantity of your sleep.

Most sleep experts recommend not using a backlit device before bed. If you do want to read an ebook then you should get something like a Kindle, which uses e-ink and is not backlit. Or you could what generations of people have done and read a good old fashioned book.

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