According to the Well blog on the New York Times website, when we stare into our computer monitors and iPads before bed, the artificial light that emanates from our screens may reduce our bodies' melatonin levels, thereby disrupting our sleep and "rais[ing] the risk of obesity, diabetes and other disorders."
Increasingly, researchers are finding that artificial light from some devices at night may tinker with brain chemicals that promote sleep. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute showed that exposure to light from computer tablets significantly lowered levels of the hormone melatonin, which regulates our internal clocks and plays a role in the sleep cycle.
In the study, published in the journal Applied Ergonomics, the researchers had volunteers read, play games and watch movies on an iPad, iPad 2 or PC tablet for various amounts of time while measuring the amount of light their eyes received. They found that two hours of exposure to a bright tablet screen at night reduced melatonin levels by about 22 percent.The researchers recommend putting away electronic devices well before bedtime, "or at the very least dimming your screen as much as possible."
Sheesh. What else are we supposed to do before bed? I mean, are we really expected to engage in conversation with our spouses or read books (printed on paper) or something? OUTRAGEOUS.