30 Mar How your I-pad Messes with Your Weight Loss
A recent study surveyed the effects of i-pads on sleep. The last time I mentioned the problem of light pollution was in my blog about sleep not too long ago. The study I am mentioning today had participants read for 4 hours prior to going to bed. Half of the participants were using an i-pad, the other half were reading regular books.
The participants reading on the i-pad found that they were less sleepy than our book-readers in the evening and it took them about 60% longer to fall asleep (25 min versus 15 min).
In addition their body’s melatonin production was suppressed and their body reacted as if the day was actually 1 1/2 hours longer than it really was. This melatonin suppression is considered carcinogenic.
What happened in the morning?
In the morning the book-readers were more alert and active than the i-pad readers. They felt like they had rested more and were more alert during the day.
Suppressed melatonin production is associated with higher risks of cancer. Back-lit tablets decrease sleep quality and hinder you from waking up more refreshed in the morning. This is also true with people who think they sleep well. Please bear in mind that phones, TVs, and computers are strong emitters of blue light as well, the culprit of the problem.
What you can do:
If you cannot stay away from using the computer in the evening or late at night, you might want to start using glasses that filter out the blue light spectrum (around 10$). They are certainly not fashionable but they make a difference and allow the production of melatonin to continue. If on the other hand you don’t want to look goofy, you either have to quit looking at the screen or dim the screen as much as possible while still being able to read, and, hope for the best. A third option is to install a program called f. lux. It adjusts your computer or phone screen automatically to the time of day and gives it a slight reddish hue.
What about my weight?
If we do not get enough sleep and/or our sleep quality is low our body has a tendency to hold on to our weight. Considering that most of us don’t get enough sleep to begin with, the quality of the sleep that we are getting is even more important.
It has been shown that devices like TVs, tablets, phones, backlit e-readers have a negative impact on our sleep. I understand that we seem to be unable to function without them. We catch our favorite show after a stressful day, or wind down reading articles, surfing the internet. That does not release us of our responsibility to take care of ourselves. Simply grabbing a paperback book, adjusting our computer lights, eliminating our light pollution in our bedrooms and using blue light filtering glasses can do a lot to improve our sleep patterns.
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