Just when I was enjoying the convenience of easily checked out or purchased books on my iPad for my bedtime reading routine, a study out from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that has another type of light going off in my head — a light bulb, that is! Yes, a light bulb has now gone off in my head… the kind of light bulb that makes one say, “Ahhh! Now I get it!”
(This research has been posted all over the web, but I like the article Using e-readers, tablets in the evening could harm sleep quality by Catharine Paddock, PhD, for its insight and clarity without being overly medical. It is also important to note that when using the term “eReaders,” that the researchers are referring to eReaders that are lit, not those that are not lit. The term is used interchangeably in many articles without a distinction clearly being made between the two types.)
Yours truly has had many a night when I woke up complaining of a fitful night of sleep and could not figure out why it happened. I checked over the usually-blamed-suspects – no alcohol, no big meal in the evening, no afternoon or evening caffeine, plenty of exercise (but not in the evening), comfy bed, room at the right temperature, no pain, no unusual stress… Why on earth did I have such a poor night’s sleep??!! Well, well well… this study may have given me my answer — I sometimes read in bed, before falling asleep, using my iPad. BINGO! There it is! Now although I am glad to have this information so I can avoid something that might disrupt my sleep, I am extremely disappointed to give up something (reading on my iPad) that has turned me back into an avid reader.
What is my next step? I am going to do my own experiment to see if reading with my iPad before bed is really affecting the quality of my sleep. I do not read using my iPad every night, so that gives me a chance to do my own research. From now on, when I do not have a resful night’s sleep and I am marking the usually-blamed-suspects off my list, I will add “reading on my iPad” to the suspect list to see if it may be the culprit. I will keep you posted on my research…
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