Want a Good Night's Sleep? Put Down the Back-Lit E-Reader

December 23, 2014

When you’re hunkering down to read The Night Before Christmas tonight before bedbe sure to reach for a print copy of the book instead of reading it on your iPad–even if the e-book version has animated dancing sugar plums. Why? New research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that reading at night from a light-emitting device, like an iPad or a Kindle with a back light, can actually be harmful to your health. When compared with the experience of reading an “old-fashioned” print book, the short-wavelength enriched light of an e-book disrupted the body’s natural circadian rhythms. Not only did the readers of electronic devices take more time to fall asleep, but they also felt less sleepy before bedtime. But perhaps the worst side effect was that e-reading made people feel less alert the next morning. That’s especially rough if you’re still powering through the last leg of your Nutcracker run. 


There’s no need to ditch your favorite holiday books this Christmas Eve. Just opt for a more traditional reading experience.