Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Your Computer Or iPad Could Be Disrupting Sleep

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the bright-idea dept.

Science 351

Crash McBang sends in a CNN report on electronics and sleeplessness and asks, "So, what do Slashdotters do to get a good night's rest?" "More than ever, consumer electronics — particularly laptops, smartphones, and Apple's new iPad — are shining bright light into our eyes until just moments before we doze off. Now there's growing concern that these glowing gadgets may actually fool our brains into thinking it's daytime. Exposure can disturb sleep patterns and exacerbate insomnia, some sleep researchers said in interviews. ... Unlike paper books or e-book readers like the Amazon Kindle, which does not emit its own light, the iPad's screen shines light directly into the reader's eyes from a relatively close distance. That makes the iPad and laptops more likely to disrupt sleep patterns than, say, a television sitting across the bedroom or a lamp that illuminates a paper book, both of which shoot far less light straight into the eye, researchers said."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Simple fix (5, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229540)

"So, what do Slashdotters do to get a good night's rest?"

If you get a girlfriend she will put all those computer things away at night. You also get to have sex and cuddle and spoon her, making it really easy to fall a sleep. It's the easiest and simplest fix.

Re:Simple fix (1, Interesting)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229552)

To hear tell though, no /. user gets sex with a real person of the opposite sex (something I vehemently deny but no one believes me).

Re:Simple fix (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229632)

In all fairness, they hardly get any with one of the same sex either. Self service doesn't count.

Re:Simple fix (5, Funny)

mce (509) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229584)

Easy & simple, you say? It shows that you don't have a girlfriend... ;-)

Re:Simple fix (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229750)

Eh it took practice but we eventually learned to sleep holding each other and once we did it was quite nice. Posting as AC to avoid bragging about having had a girlfriend. Though I've since been single for five years, so I guess it's not a huge deal;)

Re:Simple fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229802)

Or you should show her who is the man in the relationship ;-)

Re:Simple fix (3, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229990)

Of course: she is.

Re:Simple fix (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229948)

Either that, or he has a really good one.

Re:Simple fix (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230084)

Yes she already does "put all those computer things away at night". The rest are now bound to follow. Only he doesn't know.

Re:Simple fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32230006)

My girlfriend is both easy and at times quite simple.

Re:Simple fix (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229658)

You must be new here.

Re:Simple fix (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229678)

sopssa, why does your "girlfriend" have a large hairy penis?

Re:Simple fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229796)

yes and she's bald, sweaty, easily excitable and has an affinity for Microsoft technology.

It's quite lovely to sleep next to her.

--sopssa

Re:Simple fix (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229720)

Yeah, and blowing her up before getting into bed every night wears you out.

Re:Simple fix (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229746)

Q: What's the difference between a fake girlfriend and a real girlfriend?
A: Your blow the fake one, the real one blows you.

Re:Simple fix (2, Funny)

blai (1380673) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229782)

What's that? We don't have that in America.

Re:Simple fix (-1, Troll)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229952)

Cuddle? Spoon? You a lesbian? Just asking.

Re:Simple fix (5, Funny)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230050)

I'm not allowed to have a girlfriend...My wife wont let me? :(

Re:Simple fix (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230102)

If you get a girlfriend she will put all those computer things away at night. You also get to have sex and cuddle and spoon her, making it really easy to fall a sleep. It's the easiest and simplest fix.

Is one of them "girlfriend" things still the easiest and simplest fix, if you're married?

f.lux (4, Informative)

kemenaran (1129201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229554)

That's what f.lux [stereopsis.com] is for. It changes the temperature of your screen according to the time (sunrise/sunset). It works under Mac, Linux, Windows ; a real gem.

Re:f.lux (1)

Jeoh (1393645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229568)

It also completely makes any decent photo editing impossible for negligible gains.

Thanks, but I'll stick to my good friend Jack Daniels. I can take him to bed with me, without him trying anything.

Re:f.lux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229728)

It also completely makes any decent photo editing impossible for negligible gains.

Then don't use it. This is a good idea for the vast majority of computer users that don't do photo editing of any kind, "decent" or otherwise.

Re:f.lux (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229830)

You can disable it while you're doing image editing and then turn it back on afterward. I doubt that fifth of Jack is gonna assist your image editing in any beneficial amount.

Re:f.lux (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229904)

Whereas being drunk makes photo editing so much better.

Re:f.lux (1)

linhux (104645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230116)

It has an easy access temporary disable feature for this reason. Also, during office hours it will be automatically disabled anyway, so try to keep your work hours sane and you'll be fine. :-)

Re:f.lux (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229754)

This should actually make things worse, melanopsin which plays a role in regulating is most sensitive to blue light! The screen should be blue in the day and yellow in the afternoon for this to work, but then again it looks like the intensity of light plays a bigger role than the color of light. So it'd be far more effective for one to make the screen dimmer as it got later in to the day.

Re:f.lux (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230100)

What makes you think that this app would make the screen more blue at night? It seems to do exactly what you think it should.

Re:f.lux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229872)

Now, I'm as anti-Apple as they come, but I have to say there are better brands to target with such safety concerns - the Apple iPad has a built-in safety feature to prevent just this occurance: http://twitpic.com/1o4f9n - it even works during the day!

Re:f.lux (1)

nikomo (1338131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230134)

It just makes my screens shit brown no matter what time of the day it is.

Re:f.lux (1)

sir_montag (937262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230148)

Just started using f.lux two weeks ago, love it. I no longer feel like I'm staring into a flashlight!

Of all the bizare complaints about modern eletroni (2, Insightful)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229560)

Of all the bizarre complaints about modern electronics, this is the first one I can definitively understand. Though, how is this any different from the other light sources in reflecting into our eyes at night. I have lights in every room of my house, my TV, and the street lamp outside- so this is nothing new.

Re:Of all the bizare complaints about modern eletr (3, Informative)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229642)

The article claims that the light intensity is less from the other source. It is about distance and intensity. You usually don't sit 6 inches from your TV or lamp like you might with an iPad. The intensity of light (from a point source) is a function of r^2.

Re:Of all the bizare complaints about modern eletr (3, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229768)

But there is a difference in physical size of the light sources as well, and if you adjust the luminance (cd/m^2, probably fairly independent of the size of the screen, be it a TV or an iPod) of your TV and your laptop to be the same and if you watch both from such a distance that each of them covers the same solid angle, your eyes receive equal irradiation from both of them.

Re:Of all the bizare complaints about modern eletr (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230098)

Yah, as it turns out it depends only on the emittance of the surface and the solid angle subtended by the surface: Each point of light might be reduced in intensity by r^2, but the number of points per solid radian increases by the same amount.

iPhone (4, Funny)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229572)

My iPhone disrupts my sleep every day. It's my alarm clock.

Re:iPhone (2, Funny)

correnos (1727834) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229890)

Yeah, the best way of managing sleep patterns is getting a job where your policy can be "I sleep when I wanna sleep and I get up when I f***ing wanna get up!"

hmm (1, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229578)

Wait, a device that buzzes, beeps, has whirring fans that spin at several thousand RPM, harddrives, printers, and sometimes entire home entertainment systems connected to them... could disturb sleep? I have to disagree. I've fallen asleep on my keyboard numerous times, and the newer models don't beep when the keyboard buffer gets filled. It's a disappointing feature, really -- it means about once a month, the first hour of my waking life has QWEASDFZXCV written on the side of my face.

I think the real issue here is that keyboards aren't comfortable to sleep on.

I believe this (5, Interesting)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229592)

I've noticed an improvement in my sleep patterns since I set a curfew for the computers, stopping any use of them two or three hours before bedtime.

Re:I believe this (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229704)

Guess it depends on the person because even though I have had a computer in my bedroom since before I was born I have never had a problem sleeping anywhere or any time. YMMV.

Re:I believe this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229966)

Umm... a person who's dead tire all the time because they can't get a decent night's sleep would also have no problems falling asleep anytime, anywhere... I'm not saying that's you, but you aren't exactly proving your point. The sample size of one doesn't help either. Nor does relying on perceptions since the sleep deprived are notorious for underestimating their impairment.

Actually, come to think of it, people that aren't sleep deprived generally have trouble falling asleep during the day, or away from their bedroom. There are hormone levels and habits that ensure that... unless the body needs sleep so badly as to override those (exception being the afternoon when hormone levels facilitate an afternoon nap, or car accidents, if you look at them temporally). During the day you should be able to rest quietly with your eyes closed (or be bored) without getting sleepy.

Re:I believe this (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229972)

... I have never had a problem sleeping anywhere or any time.

Lazy pig!

/ducks [slashdot.org]

Re:I believe this (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230122)

Guess it depends on the person because even though I have had a computer in my bedroom since before I was born I have never had a problem sleeping anywhere or any time.

Do you work third shift here?

Re:I believe this (2, Interesting)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229980)

Absolutely. I have a messed up biological clock. Forgot the proper medical term for it but basically my day/night rhythm isn't a typical 24 hour cycle like most people have but slightly longer. My body likes to think there are 26 hours in a day so to speak.

I've had this since childhood and a good sleeping pattern always has been some kind of personal hell since I still have to live my life in 24 hr cycles whether i'm made for it or not. Society simply demands it ;)

A year or two I got some tests again and one of the docs. advised me to not watch tv or sit behind a computer screen 3 hours prior to sleeping. I have to say it's a definite improvement, a pretty big one actually. I fall asleep faster and sleep deeper/better.

Of course, I can't hold myself to it everyday but it's defenatly something I try to approach. As less comps/tv's before sleep. It simply helps.

Re:I believe this (2, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230016)

Absolutely. I have a messed up biological clock. Forgot the proper medical term for it but basically my day/night rhythm isn't a typical 24 hour cycle like most people have but slightly longer. My body likes to think there are 26 hours in a day so to speak.

That's actually normal for a human. It becomes problematical when you can't fall asleep at a normal time. I'm like that if I don't get enough sunlight during the day.

If you constantly feel jetlagged by being forced into a 24 hour schedule, you should probably look into this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_sleep_phase_syndrome [wikipedia.org]

And see if it feels similar.

The light from monitors can definitely disrupt your sleep cycle - I fall asleep like a baby whenever I'm out backpacking as soon as the lights go out, but in front of a computer I normally fall asleep at about 2-4AM or so. Been that way since college.

Re:I believe this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32230052)

The natural internal rhythm is more like a 25 hour day. This has been shown in experiments where people lived without any external time reference (i.e. no clocks, no natural light, no real time media). We sync to the environment. It is easier to shift to a later schedule than to an earlier schedule (jet-lag from flying west is less problematic than jet-lag from flying east).

Re:I believe this (4, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229992)

I don't doubt you, but do you really think it's because the light from the screen fools your brain into thinking it's still daytime, or do you think it's something completely different?

Personally, I think a lot of people just need to "wind down" before they can get to sleep. They can't go from doing something mentally stimulating to sleeping, just like that. People can fall asleep watching TV because it's a passive activity... but using your computer requires some interaction and mental processing.

Thought about it, done something about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229596)

I already thought about this once.
My solution: dim the screen at night.. simple, huh?
it also lets me work with all the rest of the lights off without hurting my eyez :)

Re:Thought about it, done something about it (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230146)

Agreed, this works perfectly. In a room with no other lights I can easily dim my laptop screen as far as it goes (short of turning it off, ofc...) without problems.

Turn everything off (2, Informative)

toxygen01 (901511) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229602)

before you go to sleep. Not only it saves your bill, but you'll get comfy environment to sleep in. No buzzing of adapters, no sound from IM, no fans, ... only silence to enjoy.

occasionally I let my computer run with shutdown -h +40 and let it play some music like vangelis or enya. computer is in the switch which controls whole multiplug -> comp goes off, everything's going off

Re:Turn everything off (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230092)

occasionally I let my computer run with shutdown -h +40 and let it play some music like vangelis or enya

If you're running KDE and want it to work like a normal shutdown try this script

#!/bin/sh
sleep $1
qdbus org.kde.ksmserver /KSMServer org.kde.KSMServerInterface.logout 1 2 2

Just run it like ./scriptname 30m or whatever.

That explains it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229608)

And here I was blaming the four pack of Red Bull I just downed.

Um (0, Offtopic)

Oricalchos (1339065) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229620)

How is this news?

Re:Um (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229734)

you must have not rtfs
it mentions the ipad
_THE_ _IPAD_
go back and read it if you don't believe me

Bright Blue LED (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229624)

I can remember a time when I could sleep with my computer on. Then, I got a new fan, with a blue LED. This one wasn't like the blue LEDs on the other fans, this one was bright. Really bright! Somewhere along the line, these blue LEDs became some sort defacto choice for any electronic manufacturer I have bought from recently. My laptop's LED indicators are so bright, I cover them with a keyboard at night. Strangely, the red LED on it isn't anywhere near as bright as the blue one (though that might be a power saver feature.)

Finally, I got new speakers, and of course the green LED indicator from my old set had been replaced by another bright blue LED. At night, the room was bathed in faint blue. Even facing away from the light, I couldn't get to sleep. I finally put a piece of ductape over the LED indicator. Although the Blue LED still shines through the thick grey tape, it's dimmed enough for my sleep.

Is it just me? Was there some breakthrough in bright blue LEDs?

Re:Bright Blue LED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229832)

Clay works wonders. It's opaque to light, is malleable so it fits in any opening that could contain a led an can be bought in several colours in the hobby shop, including console black, entertainment white and computer grey. And for the real daredevils, most devices with leds will work without them, although in some cases you may have to short them. The leds themselves have negligible resistance and there's often a resistor in parallel that has the lion's share of ohms.

Re:Bright Blue LED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32230046)

Replying to myself: that should be "in series" of course.

Re:Bright Blue LED (1)

Radio_active_cgb (839041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229854)

I have to agree - it seems that there has been an explosion of blue LEDs everywhere.

I think there were two causes that that triggered that explosion; 1) blue LEDs became plentiful and relatively inexpensive, and 2) industrial design practices seem to suggest that blue LEDs convey an image of intelligence and modern design, and more so if they blink.

I have sleep apnea, and use a CPAP at night. Guess what - it has blue LEDs (not terribly bright, but they still light up the room). I cover the LEDs when I go to sleep. Bone-headed design decision! I would have much preferred dimmer red LEDs. Getting a good nights sleep is already hard enough.

I also have a desktop computer with small powered speakers. They all have bright blue LEDs shining in my eyes as I'm using the computer. The glare is rather distracting. I've covered those LEDS as well. I still see them, but only when I look at them (as it should be).

Re:Bright Blue LED (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229858)

There was. Blue was the last of the "human relevant" colors to be developed into something commercially viable, though, by way of historical trivia, the extremely early, very impractical, silicon carbide devices were blue LEDs(by "human relevant", I mean to exclude exotic application-specific stuff like far-ultraviolet or something.) Somehow, unbearably bright blue then became a symbol of "high tech" among electronics manufacturers with dubious taste.

Re:Bright Blue LED (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229910)

Blue LEDs are definitely the new black. Incredibly obnoxious if you ask me. Thankfully black electrical tape works wonders ;) Most of the devices that have these seem to be a shiny black color so it doesn't even really look like shit during the day.

Re:Bright Blue LED (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32230008)

Actually yes, prof. Nakamura (currently at UCSB) was responsible for the breakthrough while working at nichia corp. and creating and perfecting the process for building the InGaN quantum well used in almost all modern blue and white LEDs we see today. That was in 1993. Now I'm as shortsightedly outraged as anyone and would totally think the repercussions of ultra cheap and ultra efficient blue LEDs is just an increased amount of obnoxiously bright indicators on my computer parts for the sake of looking futuristic but pragmatically, it's also at the backbone of the most power efficient consumer light sources we have available as of today (give or take two to three times more so than metal halide arclamps and fluorescent tubes) and probably will help cut a great deal of power consumption later on.

Sure, the indicator's not the best place for these things to shine (pun, yada yada...) but what do you say to the backlight of the same laptop using LEDs and making it much brighter while extending the battery life?

The only logical course of action... (1)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229630)

is to fool our brains into thinking the lights not bright so we can continue to use them(melatonin supplements should do the trick). Also, n sample size = 1.

Well, doh! (3, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229652)

Simple solution: TURN THE DEVICE OFF!

Yeah, I know. It's primitive and crude to be pressing the off button on a device. It's not that hard. Using a power strip to turn off a bunch of "always on" devices (i.e., everything connected to TV) not only makes it easy to turn turn them off but also saves electricity when you're not using them.

Re:Well, doh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229906)

I didn't RTFA (what? one of /.'s finest traditions), but the summary talks about staring into these screens from up close until right before you go to sleep; as in, you use your computer, turn it off, then go to sleep right afterwards (which is exactly what a lot of us do). It does not talk about the devices being shining light in your face when you are already sleep. So... yeah.

Re:Well, doh! (2, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230000)

Except it isn't that they are on while you are sleeping, it's that you use them as you are about to sleep.

Instead of reading a book before you turn off the reading lamp and go to sleep, you're holding an iPad a few inches from your eyes before turning it off and going to sleep.

How about researcher before we panic? (4, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229670)

I think that this line from the article says it all:

While there has been research to show that light -- even artificial light -- can affect human melatonin production, no research has been done specifically on whether the iPad and laptops disrupt sleep cycles.

Basically, we'll speculate wildly about what might be harming you (threats sell news!) without any actual research. I'm not saying that the claims are improbable, just that it can't be that hard to do some studies on the effects of iPads and other gadgets on sleep. This isn't even a multi-year study, it ought to take a few months (max) to run and probably a few more to work over the data.

Re:How about researcher before we panic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32230112)

And who is going to pay for this? Right...

dim the screen? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229694)

There must be a point where a dimmed LCD screen sends less light to your eyes than the whole-room lighting needed for the Kindle. I wish my Android phone would let the screen to be dimmed much more.

Tool to reduce blue from a display at night (1)

martijnd (148684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229698)

I went to a presentation the other day where the screen of the presenter turned less bright (removing blue hues) at a certain point.

He explained that he had a tool that did this based on the time of day, allowing your eyes to relax later at night. His computer was stuck on Tokyo time hence this happening during the demo.

So far I have been unable to find this utility. It sounds great for those late night scribblings where you don't want to wake your whole brain up.

Re:Tool to reduce blue from a display at night (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229826)

Sounds like this [slashdot.org] is what you're looking for.

Re:Tool to reduce blue from a display at night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229838)

I belive, this is it: http://www.stereopsis.com/flux/

Re:Tool to reduce blue from a display at night (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229848)

Someone above linked to it. It's f.lux and it works pretty good. (or xflux)

It looks like an iPad publicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32229706)

"the iPad and laptops"... as if regular desktop screens wouldn't produce the same effect.. He uses the word iPad 11 times in the article.. it's just pointless.. a bare "lcd screens" would be more precise and general.. and if he found it necessary, pointing out iPad sales are boosting the effect for the practicality of using it for in bed reading.

Re:It looks like an iPad publicity (1)

Diantre (1791892) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229752)

I doubt you go to bed with your desktop computer. Still, this is slashdot...

Re:It looks like an iPad publicity (1)

questionsaddict (1277150) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229828)

meh. i just don't see the point of making the difference "iPad or laptop", it feels redundant, and he does it every single time he uses the word laptop, i think that's what called my attention... [[btw, i wrote the op]]

Re:It looks like an iPad publicity (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229968)

Basically, journos have managers like everyone else. So the managers (who are often older and somewhat out of touch) hear that iPads are the hot thing that hip young people have. And the journo tries to work that angle in, to make the managers happy.

Re:It looks like an iPad publicity (1)

arielCo (995647) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230062)

I call it "Apple click whoring". iPods cause hearing loss, iPhone this or that. Anything to get pageviews, and substituting i* for any type of device fits the bill just fine.

It's not like "iPad" is a genericized trademark yet, is it?

I sleep like a baby (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229718)

Waking up screaming and shitting in my pants every couple of hours.

That's stupid (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229742)

That's stupid. I use my computer all the time and it never disrup zzzzzzzzzzzz

Just more light pollution (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229758)

it's comparable to having street lights outside your bedroom. Although urban lighting has always been with us, we have not (yet?) recognised it as a disruptive influence. Personally I find it easier to sleep in a completely darkened room (no lights or i<*> devices. I also find it easier to sleep in a completely quiet room but we're certainly not prepared as a society to give up all our noisy and bright technology "just" for a better nights sleep.

Re:Just more light pollution (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230054)

it's comparable to having street lights outside your bedroom.

That's the biggest thing I notice whenever I leave the city. I turn the bedroom light off, and then I'm stuck. I'm used to being able to see my way to bed.

I also find it easier to sleep in a completely quiet room but we're certainly not prepared as a society to give up all our noisy and bright technology "just" for a better nights sleep.

Aren't we? Most people I know turn their computer, TV etc off at night. Night-time flights over the city are severely restricted. Houses on main roads (or by a railway) are less desirable.

Naturally (2, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229776)

Of course my computer disrupts my sleep.

While I'm using it.

Use them to wake up instead! (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229808)

I jump on my computer in the morning to help me wake up - it especially works well during the winter months when infact its still dark outside...

As for evenings, I just turn my computer off and walk away - The only electronic device of that type is my phone, which is face down on the side of my bed, and its on silent anyway.

When will the media learn.. (4, Insightful)

sgt101 (120604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229820)

when will people get this :

NO ONE CARES WHAT "A RESEARCHER" (or professor, or cleverdick) SAYS

we only care if they have published peer reviewed research that we can read and evaluate for ourselves and then decide if we believe if it is substantively true or not.

Thank you for your attention.

Turn them off/hide them (1)

Enry (630) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229850)

I put my computer in hibernate or sleep modes before I go to bed, but they're in a different room than my bedroom, and there's no TVs or computers in the bedroom. My home server is two floors below, so it's unlikely that will wake me up at all.

I need to have my phone with me, but I usually plug it in and then put it under something to block any charging or incoming e-mail lights. Otherwise, the shades are drawn, and the only electrical device in the room is a squeezebox boom with the brightness turned way down and playing quiet music.

Sure, blame it on the iPad (1)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229870)

... and not on the reading lights or overhead lamps you used to use to read.

(I know we're all supposed to hate Apple right now on slashdot, but this seems over the top.)

Re:Sure, blame it on the iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32230130)

... and not on the reading lights or overhead lamps you used to use to read.

(I know we're all supposed to hate Apple right now on slashdot, but this seems over the top.)

Or instead of jumping to assuming Apple hate (touchy?) you could read the article and see why your point is not a point. It's even covered in the summary.

Put tape over it... (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229908)

Seriously... take a pice of tape and put it over the light; which should dim it to not give it that piercing light.

I know at night that even when I turn the cable box off there is the green LED lights that is very piercing to the eye, even when i shut my eyes I can still see it and I used to have to put a shirt over the front of the box. So even turning off the device these days will not solve the problem as they seem to have stuck a red bright LED OFF button.
Also there is no turning off some devices like the cable box which will than require a full 3 minute reboot wait time, nobody wants to wait that long to view tv in the morning.
Screens go to sleep anyways, so pointless to complain about the screen.

Solution = bedroom, computers don't go there. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229912)

Light pollution in most sleeping areas is voluntary.

My bedroom is dark, has no glowing LEDs other than those on the alarm clock, problem solved.

For those in a communal situation, the G.I. custom of opaque curtains (we used ponchos) referred to as "spank walls" works well.

So we all have to stop errrrrr.... (1)

quantumpineal (1724214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32229914)

What are we supposed to stop this time?

No problems here (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230024)

I spent about two hours finishing a book on the iPad last night, shut it off, went right to sleep. Screen brightness is turned down from halogen floodlight intensity, of course.

But I've been doing my computer catch-up and late night gaming just before going to bed for decades now, so brain and circadian rhythms are thoroughly beaten into submission.

Freakin' Mac "Like Paper" look to blame (4, Insightful)

rbrander (73222) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230028)

The greatest thing about my new "Linux Mint" distribution with "CompizConfig" was the "negative" trick under "Accessibility". It negates all the colour bits in a window or desktop, turning the usual "black ink on white paper" look of most web pages (at least news pages) to white-on-black.

Hitting that button at night makes you go "aaahhh" as your eyes stop aching when you hadn't noticed how strained they were.

It was all keewwwwl for them to make the Mac be the first computer to have word processing and so forth look like black ink on paper when every computer monitor before them had been white text on dark. But direct light into your face is NOT reflections from paper and it was always a stupid idea for legibility and ergonomics both.

I'm not sure about the sleep thing (I don't recall any trouble before I got the "negative" function a few months ago) but trust me, get that capability if you use either a CRT or LCD with modern apps and web pages in a dim room. Your optic nerves will practically sob with relief.

So should more people be using... (1)

Memroid (898199) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230038)

projectors?

Auto-brightness (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230040)

Both my MBP and my iPhone have auto-brightness which will dim the ever living shit out of the display when the ambient light is low ... don't suppose anyone thought of that when doing the study?

blah blah iPad (4, Insightful)

FooHentai (624583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230072)

I love how this article singles out the iPad for no valid reason whatsoever, just to whore up attention since the iPad is the latest hot topic. Should have thrown in some 9/11 or Obama references for added traffic. Maybe mention Haiti or Thailand a bit. Sleep patterns blah blah IPAD blah devices IPAD blah blah IPAD blah light intensity blah IPAD blah

CNN FUD to ride the iPad wave... (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230088)

This is crap. A lot of options from experts, but no controlled studies, no proven causation, no scientifically obtained correlation; just a bunch of anecdotal stories and opinion. Typical CNN soft reporting of meaningless drivel. The word "may" exists 9 times in the article and sidebar. Sime examples:

Some researchers say the iPad and laptops may alter sleep cycles
Light from the devices' screens may affect internal clocks when used at night
glowing gadgets may actually fool our brains
But if bright lights are shining in our eyes, that may not happen as planned
Electronics with glowing screens may create problems for people who are susceptible to insomnia
It's possible iPads and laptops, when used late at night, may delay sleep
etc...

That there is some very lame-ass reporting. I want my 5 minutes back...

Some real numbers to consider (2, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230090)

I'm in the process of measuring exactly this effect.

Noontime clear-sky sun measures 9500, blue light through office window with indirect daylight is 250, a desk lamp measures 45, and an LCD TV up close measures 7 uW/cm^2 in the frequency range of the retinal ganglia (480 nm) which is thought to be the part of the eye that senses daily cycles. (Mammalian Eye [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia.)

So far as I can tell laptops and related devices don't generate an appreciable amount of energy in this range, it's more the artificial indoor lighting.

As an experiment, I've started wearing red-tinted wrap-around sun glasses 2 hours before bedtime. I can still work, read, watch TV and all that, but the glasses mask off the blue frequencies, telling the brain that the sun has gone down.

It had an almost immediate effect. I'm a long-time sufferer of insomnia who has tried everything, but wearing the glasses fixed the problem in the first week.

I'm also a lot more "peppy" during the day, and I wonder if long term exposure to late-night artificial lighting (and low level during the day) is a cause of depression. Depression meds take about 6 weeks to have an effect, so I'm guessing that it would take about 6 weeks for the glasses to have an anti-depressive effect as well. I'm on week 3 with the glasses.

You can get good wrap-around red tinted glasses at a motorcycle shop for $12. WalMart sells an "old grandpa" set for $25 which will go over your existing glasses.

It has to be wrap around so that no light gets in over the edges. You don't want polarized lenses because they will interfere with LCD viewing. You want red tinted and "blue blocker". Oh, and make sure they're comfortable.

If you have to take them off for any reason (such as scratching your nose), you have to remember to close your eyes. It takes a couple of hours of dark before the pineal starts producing melatonin, and I strongly suspect that a short burst of light will reset that internal timer.

If you try this and it has any effect, positive or negative, I'd like to hear about it. Contact me through my homepage (above), I'll collect and post all the anecdotal stories so we can see if there really is an effect. Negative data is important, so if you try it and find no effect, I'd like to hear that as well.

Sorry, nothing new here! (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230126)

Author Jerry Mander presented the same argument 35 years ago in his great book "Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television".

He never talks about programming. (It is a given that it is crap.) Instead he discusses the physiological side of TV and how it is affecting us... badly.

Bunch of bs (1)

mikeskup (1337) | more than 4 years ago | (#32230156)

Coming from a place that don't get dark much this time of year......Alaska...

The key to sleep is to close your eyes, then it's dark....

What other excuses are they gonna come up with?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?