What inhibits sleep? Smartphones and tablets can fall into the category of roommates who do not sleep well. It is believed that one of the reasons is diodes, whose emission of bright light allows these mobile devices to be used in badly lit rooms.
However, exposure to light can interfere with melatonin, a hormone that controls the natural cycle of sleep and wakefulness.
A study of Mayo Clinic It states that reducing the intensity of the light from the smartphone or tablet in the controls and holding the device at a minimum distance of 30 centimeters from the face would reduce the possibility of interfering with melatonin and disturbing sleep.
The research was part of the Mayo Clinic studies presented during the annual meeting SLEEP 2013 of the Associated Dream Professional Societies, held in Baltimore.
"In the old days, people would lie down in bed and read a book, and now, the most common thing is for people to go to bed and have a tablet to read a book or newspaper, or to surf the internet.
"The problem is that it is an illuminated device, and then the question is to know how problematic is the light source of mobile devices," says the co-author of the work, Dr. Lois Krahn, psychiatrist and sleep expert at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.
"The great concern about the use of mobile devices was what led me to find out if they are always a negative factor for sleep," adds Dr. Krahn.
"We discovered that only when the control is set at maximum illumination, light exceeds the conservative threshold capable of affecting melatonin levels, but if the control is set at the medium or low position, the apparatus offers enough illumination to use it."
In the study, scientists experimented with two tablets and a smartphone in a dark room. For this they used a meter set at the highest sensitivity to measure the light emitted by the devices while holding them at different distances from the face.
They discovered that when lighting was reduced at the controls and the device was held just 30 centimeters away from the face, the risk of having a light with sufficient brightness to suppress melatonin secretion and disturb sleep decreased. And you, how often do you use your cell phone before going to sleep?