Smartphones and tablets may be vital parts of an individual's everyday life but they come with their own sets of problems. Scientists at Mayo Clinic have analyzed the risks and given suggestions to use these gadgets wisely.
Scientists at the Mayo Clinic have found that the use of smartphones and tablets during bed-time can disrupt sleep. These devices are bright light-emitting diodes, which used at night can interfere with melatonin, a hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle.
"In the old days people would go to bed and read a book. Well, much more commonly people go to bed and they have their tablet on which they read a book or they read a newspaper or they're looking at material. The problem is it's a lit device, and how problematic is the light source from the mobile device?" co-author Lois Krahn, M.D., a psychiatrist and sleep expert at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz, said in a news release.
Dr. Krahn said that a high setting of the light in smartphones and tablets can interfere with melatonin levels.
Researchers conducted an experiment using two tablets and a smartphone in a dark room. They placed a meter on the most sensitive setting to measure the amount of light emitted from the device held at different distances from the user's face.
The results showed that if the brightness setting was reduced and the device was held at least 14 inches away from the user's face, there was no interference with the melatonin levels and did not disrupt the sleep of the individual.
The study was presented along with others at SLEEP 2013, the Associated Professional Sleep Societies annual meeting in Baltimore.