MIAMI (CBS4) – Are you having trouble going to sleep?  You might want to turn off your iPads, laptops and smartphones well before you close your eyes.

New research proves what long was suspected, that nightime hours spent with a tablet such as an iPad can suppress melatonin.

Researchers looked at people who used tablets at their brightest setting for two hours and found they suppressed melatonin by twenty-two per cent.  Melatonin is a hormone that helps control our sleep and wake cycles, signaling the brain to shut down for the night as a response to darkness.

Light-emitting devices, including cell phones and tablets, do the opposite, telling the brain to stay alert.  That effect is amplified, compared with a TV across a room or a beside lamp, because the light from tablets is much closer to us and we are staring directly into the light.

No wonder so many people are sleep deprived.

Of course, most people are smart enough not to use the devices at their brightest at night, but even dimmed they will suppress melatonin.

All I can say is I read a lot in bed on an iPad but I guess I’m one of the lucky ones… I still sleep like a baby.

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