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Is your eReader stealing your sleep?

As someone who is constantly searching for more sleep, I want to share this bit of information my doctor passed along to me last month.

I’d been having even more trouble sleeping than normal, waking up several times a night, and not just to go to the bathroom or because my shoulder ached. When I told my doc, she asked if I spent much time before bed in front of a backlit electronic device in a darkened room.

Um, yeah. I used my Ipad every night, watching various shows on Netflix. She told me there’s been a huge increase in sleep disorders over the past few years because of tablets, phones, etc. 

Why? Because staring at those backlit devices in the dark essentially triggers your brain into thinking it’s day time, and you wind up napping instead of sleeping. She said it’s fine to read before bed, but with muted lamp light. Don’t just rely on the back light of your eReader. Television in darkened rooms isn’t as bad because we aren’t sitting right on top of the TV.

I was skeptical but also desperate. So I gave up the iPad at night, and guess what? Within a few weeks, my sleeping returned to my level of normal. Now, if I’m on my computer at night, I make sure I’ve got the lamp on. Same with texting. An no iPad at bedtime. All of these changes have helped me a lot, and I wanted to pass them on to you all.

Do you use backlit electronic devices at night? Have you noticed trouble sleeping?

In totally unrelated news, TIN GOD received its 50th 5-star review and is featured with some elite company. THANK YOU!

21 comments on… “Is your eReader stealing your sleep?”

  1. Heather C

    Yes, I had the same problem! Now I stay off the computer/iPhone/etc for at least an hour before bed. In addition to the eReader I enjoy paper books and audio books, so I switch to one of those for nighttime reading. I think getting a good nights sleep is soooo important to being able to handle all the next day can throw your way.

    • I wish I could say I do that, lol. But I do a much better job of keeping the lights on. I’ve never tried an audio book. And YES on a good nights sleep. I am constantly in search of a better one. Thanks!

  2. I remember you telling me about this. I read my kindle at night, but it is not backlit. Your information will keep me away from buying a backlit e-reader.

    You know how I was having headaches almost daily? I ended up reading an article about magnesium deficiency. It talked about how magnesium deficiency can also cause sleeplessness. Ended up, I bought some magnesium supplement. I’ve had a few headaches since but not nearly as intense.

    • That is interesting. I’m glad things are getting better. My Nook isn’t backlit either, and when I finally upgrade, I won’t be getting a backlit device.

      • I am not sure if I told you this, but Cosmo clotheslined himself on my Kindle while it was charging. So now I sort of have to finagle it to get the charger to “connect.” I am sure I will be buying a new one eventually.

        I was planning on just getting the cheapest Kindle model (which is only $70). But, then, I did some reading and figured out that model only has WIFI. If I want the 3G capability, I’ll have to upgrade to the Paperwhite model (because Amazon is apparently doing away with the Kindle Keyboard model, which is what I have).

      • No, you didn’t. That sucks. When I upgrade, I will have to really upgrade because I have a first generation Nook. And I’m sure I will go to Kindle. Paperwhite does look like good option.

  3. Thank you for sharing this! I have been having a lot of discussions with friends, and a few doctors, about how all this technological advancement might be affecting our bodies. I can’t think of any other time in our world’s history where we have had this kind of rapid advancement in new technologies that we use in our daily lives.

    Or perhaps maybe it just feels that way because now I’m old n’ sh*t.

    • You’re welcome. It is really interesting – and scary – how the technology can negatively effect our bodies. And you’re right on the rapid advancement. I don’t think the industrial age can compare. LOL! Me too!

  4. Stacy, I sometimes read on my iPad, like when I’m walking on the treadmill and don’t want to wear reading glasses. But, I usually read on my Kindle. I have the original type that has the e-ink, so it’s more like reading from a real page.

    • I usually read on my Nook that isn’t backlit. My issue was watching Supernatural on Netflix on the iPad, lol. Giving that up was hard!

    • Lauralynn, that’s how I started watching SPN, too. I am almost at the end of Season 5, but I know what happens every season (including 8) cause I am a spoiler queen, lol.

      Brooke, haven’t watched The Glades but LOVE Bones. Booth and Brennan have great chemistry:)

  5. How interesting. I will use my lamp from now on. I try not to read too often with my kindle at night anyway. I keep hearing things about electronics and our health and I just feel better keeping them limited anyway. Mostly that’s with cell phones, but who knows really? I like my kindle for the aspect I can store so many books on it and its easier for travel.

    • Night is about the only time I can read, but I always have a light. The back light gives me a headache if I try to read on the iPad. My issue was watching Netflix. I don’t blame you with the limiting electronics. It is a little scary to think the problems they may be causing.

  6. Hmm, I don’t usually use my Kindle Fire at bedtime. Tend to read on the older kindle most often. But I do sometimes play a word game on the Fire, when I don’t feel like reading. I think I will cut that out. Thanks for the info, Stacy!

  7. I have always slept with a night light (pstd). I leave my cell and my e-reader upstairs in my office at night and stay off my computer at least an hour before going to bed. I read real books at night. Guess that is why I always sleep my required 4.5 hours per night.

    Great information though.

    • Good for you. I haven’t read a print book in a while simply because I like the instant gratification of eReaders. Thanks!

  8. WOW. I had no idea. I always play/surf on my iPhone before I go to bed. I don’t have trouble staying asleep, but I do have a lot of difficulty feeling tired enough to fall asleep. I usually just have to lay there until I can fall asleep. Sometimes I get bored and get back on my phone, which obviously only prolongs the process.

    • Yep, I was surprised, too. But it makes sense when you think about it. It was hard not watching my iPad in bed, but I got used to it. And I do the same thing as far as going to sleep. I’m tired, I want to go to sleep, but I have to basically lay and wait.

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