A serious scientific study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which claims that reading an electronic book could actually be keeping you awake and making you more sleepy the next day. Until now, nobody had conducted any indepth scientific research on the matter. But the boffins running the study revealed what some people have suspected for some time – it’s better for your body and sleep to read a paper book. Reading on a tablet is bad for your health According to the authors, as quoted by the Washington Post, “A lot of people think this is psychological.
But what we showed is that reading from light-emitting, e-reader devices has profound biological effects.” So, it’s all to do with the light, rather than anything else such as keeping your brain active or getting cramp in your arm. The study sent 12 lucky participants to a dedicated sleep research lab for 14 days, where they read from an iPad for 5 days and then for 5 days from an actual book. The researchers monitored melatonin levels, REM sleep and various other complicatedsounding scientific metrics.
It turns out that the iPad readers took 10 minutes longer to fall asleep, had less REM sleep and less melatonin in their blood, consequently causing them to be more tired the next day. According to the Wall Street Journal: “Many people read things to help them fall asleep. They probably don’t realize that this technology is actually making them less likely to feel sleepy.” It turns out then, that if you are going to read in bed, you’re better off with a paper book.