Dim smartphone brightness to sleep better

Smartphones and tablets can make for sleep-disrupting bedfellows.

Written by PTI | Washington | Published: June 4, 2013 3:24:48 pm

Want a good night’s sleep? Dimming the brightness settings of your smartphone or tablet may help,a new study has found.

Also,holding the device at least 14 inches from your face while using it will reduce its potential to disturb your sleep,according to the study.

Smartphones and tablets can make for sleep-disrupting bedfellows. One cause is believed to be the bright light-emitting diodes that allow the use of mobile devices in

dimly lit rooms; the light exposure can interfere with melatonin,a hormone that helps control the natural sleep-wake cycle.

The Mayo Clinic study suggests dimming the smartphone or tablet brightness settings and holding the device at least 14 inches from your face while using it will reduce its potential to interfere with melatonin and impede sleep.

“There’s a lot of concern about using mobile devices and that prompted me to wonder,are they always a negative factor for sleep?” said co-author Lois Krahn,a psychiatrist and sleep expert at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale,Arizona.

“We found that only at the highest setting was the light over a conservative threshold that might affect melatonin levels. If it’s at the mid setting or at a low setting it’s

bright enough to use,” Krahn said.

In the study,researchers experimented with two tablets and a smartphone in a dark room,using a meter on its most sensitive setting to measure the light the devices emitted at various settings when held various distances from a person’s face.

They discovered that when brightness settings were lowered and the devices were held just over a foot from a user’s face,it reduced the risk that the light would be bright enough to suppress melatonin secretion and disrupt sleep.

The research was presented at SLEEP 2013,the Associated Professional Sleep Societies annual meeting in Baltimore.

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