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Exposure to Backlit Displays Reduces Melatonin Production

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the hack-all-night dept.

Science 192

alphadogg writes "Researchers have discovered that relatively little exposure to tablets and other electronics with backlit displays can keep people up at night by messing with their circadian rhythms. The study from the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute showed that a 2-hour exposure to electronic devices with such displays causes suppression of the melatonin hormone and could make it especially tough for teens to fall asleep. The study, funded by Sharp Laboratories of America, simulated usage of such devices among 13 people using special glasses/goggles and light meters"

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192 comments

Explains a lot (-1, Offtopic)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144755)

Now we know why geeks are so pale.

Re:Explains a lot (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41144801)

Now we know why geeks are so pale.

You're thinking of Melanin, not Melatonin.

Re:Explains a lot (5, Informative)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144805)

That's melatonin not melanin. Melatonin regulated sleep.

Re:Explains a lot (4, Funny)

ignavus (213578) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145267)

That's melatonin not melanin. Melatonin regulated sleep.

I clearly need more sleep. I first thought you wrote "Melatonin regulated sheep."

I suppose sheep regulation could help you sleep - it would make them easier to count.

Re:Explains a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145381)

No that's lanolin.

"What's your name? Lanolin? Like sheep's wool? Maybe don't wear a bra next time."

Re:Explains a lot (3, Interesting)

Mista2 (1093071) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145393)

f course, I've been reading with my iPad and iPhone in bed.
1 I find that the biggest problem of falling asleep with the iPad is that it hurts much more than my iPhone when you fall asleep and it hits you in the nose.
iBooks and Kindle also have a night mode 8) this stops the wife complaining of the LCD glow.
And I've started reading 2312. If this doesnt put you to sleep, nothing will.

Re:Explains a lot (2)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145669)

That's melatonin not melanin. Melatonin regulated sleep.

I clearly need more sleep. I first thought you wrote "Melatonin regulated sheep."

I suppose sheep regulation could help you sleep - it would make them easier to count.

Baaaa. Baaaa.

Re:Explains a lot (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145689)

That's melatonin not melanin. Melatonin regulated sleep.

It used to. Now there's an app for that. Actually, according to the article, just about every app that doesn't turn off the backlight on your tablet is taking over melatonin's role and regulating your sleep (or lack thereof).

Re:Explains a lot (1)

Tehrasha (624164) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145009)

Aha! So the 'CRT tan' was not a myth!!

Re:Explains a lot (2)

Tehrasha (624164) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145019)

I SO wanted that to work...

Re:Explains a lot (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145199)

It's hard to do without ruining image quality or causing a CRT implosion; but shaving a bit of the glass off the front of the tube might help... They didn't use leaded glass in CRTs just for fun...

Radiation burns are a form of 'tan' right?

Re:Explains a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145535)

Now we know why geeks are so pale.

And you didn't revoke his geek card?

Orly? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41144757)

My eyes! The goggles, they do nothing!

Turn the damn brightness down! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144771)

Seriously, I fall asleep reading the thing just as easily as with a regular book.

Re:Turn the damn brightness down! (4, Interesting)

queazocotal (915608) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144859)

I find that works.
But.
Almost all my devices will not dim adequately.
Typical dim range is down to 1:128 or so.
1:1000 is much better for use in true dark.
I have to in addition use extra software to increase the dimming, or set dark fonts and backgrounds to get it truly comfortable in a dark room.
This would be a free mod to do in hardware.

Re:Turn the damn brightness down! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144989)

It could be the 'auto-brightness' Turn it off if you can. After that, on mine, sliding your finger along the edge of the screen controlled the brightness.

Re:Turn the damn brightness down! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145005)

And.. I can just as easily control the brightness with my own finger. It works with anybody's finger. I just pick the one closest to me.

Re:Turn the damn brightness down! (2)

Larryish (1215510) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145069)

Kpdf can be set to use a black background.

Of course that means installing QT on an otherwise worthwhile system :/

Sample size too small? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41144773)

Surely 13 people is too few to draw meaningful conclusions?

Re:Sample size too small? (5, Informative)

cyclopropene (777291) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144939)

Surely 13 people is too few to draw meaningful conclusions?

Yes. Especially if not compared to people reading a book under a 60 watt incandescent light bulb.

Re:Sample size too small? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145283)

Since this is a well-known effect, it should be no surprise. The benefits of e-ink in not causing this effect were one of the original selling points of e-readers.

Re:Sample size too small? (2, Informative)

Cato (8296) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145715)

Yes, this is really junk science, but I believe there are other studies that show similar results - see http://stereopsis.com/flux/research.html [stereopsis.com] for a list, including links to the full papers (the site is for F.Lux which I really recommend to adjust colour temperature to get more sleep, for Windows, Mac and Linux, and jailbroken iOS).

N = 13? (5, Insightful)

schitso (2541028) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144775)

Should this even be considered relevant?

Re:N = 13? (4, Insightful)

anom (809433) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144923)

Furthermore, why didn't they just use actual backlit displays instead of some approximation? It's not like there is a shortage of them.

Re:N = 13? (3, Informative)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145059)

Because they wanted to control the exposure. People use tablets differently. Different distances, different brightnesses, different sized font (larger black letters means less light emitted), different tablets=different displays=different wavelengths emitted.

Too small of a group, but an interesting start.

Re:N = 13? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145085)

They did use actual tablets, iPads to be exact. The goggles were for controls. They had no goggles, which was the test treatment. They had goggles with blue light which they know will cause a change in melatonin production. Then they had orange goggles which blocked out any blue light, thereby acting as a negative control.

Re:N = 13? (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145303)

No kidding. I was thinking shenanigans for not using actual devices, let alone a ridiculously insignificant sample size. Sharp must be running low on funds. That study couldn't have cost more than a few thousand to conduct, even paying the grad students to do it. That's about two weeks worth of work ... 13 participants and no devices. Pffff! No wonder some people laugh at science when they have such poor examples to point at.

Re:N = 13? (1)

Mista2 (1093071) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145415)

Control the conditions accurately, and limit the variable to the amount of light, not the content.
Reading RSS feeds for 2 hours might keep you much more stimulated than watching a movie, or podcast, or reading an ebook.

Re:N = 13? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145065)

Maybe you should actually look at the paper before deciding its statistical significance. From the paper: "For the tablet-only condition, suppression was not significantly different than zero after 1-h exposure (t(10) = 1.80, p = 0.103) to the tablet, but was significantly greater than zero after 2 h of exposure (t(11) = 3.39, p = 0.006)."

Re:N = 13? (2)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145247)

OK so they did a couple t-test and apparently, based on my limited understanding of how they calculated degrees of freedom, one or two people were dropped from the sample for each test, most likely because they were outliers (I would RTFA but the site appears to be slashdotted). And this is supposed to prove what?

Re:N = 13? (3, Informative)

retchdog (1319261) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145691)

the omitted cases were due to not generating enough saliva for a melatonin assay. probably not much worry of confounding there.

it doesn't prove a whole lot, if anything. we already knew that blue light suppresses melatonin, and they give the predicted effect in the study along with their measurements. annoyingly, they don't give the two-hour theoretical effect, which is the regime in which they have statistical significance in their results. neither do they formally compare the tablet-only effect to high-blue-light (enforced by goggles) effect, but it's pretty obvious that the tablet isn't as bad. which, of course, isn't surprising since the lumens are lower.

conclusion: it's an almost completely useless study, but the statistics they give seem legit enough. they don't do multiple comparisons correction, but if they did, the two-hour effect would still be significant.

look, guys, if an experiment shows a statistically significant effect which also mostly conforms to the predicted effect (and there aren't blatant design errors), then there isn't much to complain about. i could, quite likely, have done this with n=6 (two for each treatment) and still gotten significance.

Re:N = 13? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145147)

You can't determine statistical significance by looking solely at the sample size. There's actual math involved, and they did that math.

Re:N = 13? (1)

VIPERsssss (907375) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145385)

I'm sorry but I can't take a sample population of 13 seriously.

Re:N = 13? (2)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145601)

So, if I were to give thirteen people a pill, and ten of them grew wings and flew away, you would complain that my study hasn't proven that my pills can make people grow wings?

I don't know or particularly care whether or not the study in the article is significant, but it's ridiculous to hold up sample size as the end-all-be-all of what determines significance.

Re:N = 13? (3, Funny)

bgeezus (1252178) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145525)

Nice one... you should have been a coauthor of this paper: Ten ironic rules for non-statistical reviewers [doi.org] by Karl Friston.

As an expert reviewer, it is sometimes necessary to ensure a paper is rejected. This can sometimes be achieved by highlighting improper statistical practice. This technical note provides guidance on how to critique the statistical analysis of neuroimaging studies to maximise the chance that the paper will be declined. We will review a series of critiques that can be applied universally to any neuroimaging paper and consider responses to potential rebuttals that reviewers might encounter from authors or editors.

Re:N = 13? (1)

nightcats (1114677) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145597)

Yeah, that and: how does exposure to goggles and light meters = tablet usage? I realize that I'll never get research funding for pointing such things out, but why is a simulation of experience X better than a direct test of experience X? And what God decides that the simulation accurately reflects the real world experience supposedly being "tested" by the sim?

Re:N = 13? (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145605)

Should this even be considered relevant?

Depends what you're using the results for.

If you're arguing that it's too small to be definitive, you're right. It's too small to generalize to the general population.

However, if it's an initial study to see if there *might* be something worth studying (people have been arguing that exposure to screens before bed ruins sleep, after all), then a small sample might be fine to see if it's even worth studying. Rather than spend lots of money studying lots of people and controlling for all variables - try to see if a small subset even matches the hypothesis.

This study is small to determine if the general agreement that screens-before-sleep might be an issue. If it proved otherwise, it means the hypothesis was invalid and needs to be revised, as per the scientific method (it could be you were completely unlucky and picked people who happened to disprove the hypothesis, but if it's as common as you believe, it would be unlikely).

This study has proved that there might be something to that, but it's not definitive. In other words, more comprehensive studies are required (perhaps you got lucky and picked the 13 people who were affected).

There's nothing wrong with small sample sizes - it's just used to cheaply identify if the hypothesis is remotely correct before spending the time, effort and money studying a much larger sample that may generate inconclusive results.

Also, if you're depending on grant money, it means you can walk to the grant committee and show them that you have results that prove interesting, but need further study to confirm. Grant committees don't like hypothesis, they like preliminary studies.

I can attest... (5, Interesting)

suprcvic (684521) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144795)

I've found that over the last year or so I've had trouble falling asleep and getting deep restful sleep. I started getting off the computer about an hour before I plan to go to bed, taking 3mg of Melatonin and reading a book. Now I'm getting the best sleep I've ever had. On that note, good night.

Re:I can attest... (2)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144927)

Yah the melatonin helps you sleep but the zombie nightmares get much more realistic.

FTFM (1)

omfgnosis (963606) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144953)

Yah the melatonin helps you sleep but the zombie nightmares get much more awesome.

Re:FTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145167)

Yah the psylocybin won't help you sleep, but the zombie hallucinations are even more awesome.

Re:FTFM (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145371)

Yah the bath salts won't help you sleep, but the zombie reality is truly hyped to the max.

Re:FTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145611)

Yah baths will help you sleep, but not if you're a zombie.

Re:I can attest... (3, Insightful)

baker_tony (621742) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145359)

Haha, solution is to pop a pill. I take it you're an American? No offence, but that seems to be the American way...

Re:I can attest... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145579)

Haha, solution is to pop a pill. I take it you're an American? No offence, but that seems to be the American way...

I am offended! In California, Colorado, Washington, and more than a dozen other states, we don't take pills for many medical problems: we smoke a joint. Legally. And we benefit from it. And for the other problems yes, we take pills. And I'm damn proud that our healthcare system and economy are good enough to make this possible. If you discount obesity (which I can not defend) and obesity-induced conditions, we're as healthy, as happy and live as long as anyone, anywhere.

Many Ameericans are fat and take antidepressants and other pills for silly reasons that could be addressed in other ways, but there are an awful lot of us who are fit, happy and healthy. And don't forget about our top shelf security and economic standard of living. And no, we don't all drive giant Cadillacs, wear stetsons (cowboy hats), smoke tobacco, or ignore the rest of the world. I refuse to hide my pride to make up for a minority of idiots.

Re:I can attest... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145729)

There seems to be a majority of idiots the way people spout off.

Rich people have a pretty good quality of living wherever they live.

And I'd say, security my ass. But, my ass hole is still reeling from the aforementioned top shelf security treatment.

And this is different from TV how? (5, Insightful)

thesupraman (179040) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144803)

In breaking news:

"Researchers have discovered that relatively little exposure to television and other electronics with backlit displays can keep people up at night by messing with their circadian rhythms."

"Researchers have discovered that relatively little exposure to home lighting can keep people up at night by messing with their circadian rhythms."

And finally:

"Researchers have discovered tha tspending too much time reading obvious 'scientific' reports can keep people up at night by messing with their circadian rhythms."

Re:And this is different from TV how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41144873)

There may be a little more to it though. I don't think normal computer monitor LCD's are that bad but handheld devices like tablets and phones use PWM to dim the display by turning the LED backlight on and off at a high frequency. That flicker is that's probably what's screwing up the circadian rhythms more than anything.

I know some times I wake up at night and will use my phone to check my mail or something and when I close my eyes and try to go back to sleep I can still see the flickering for a good while afterwards. Pretty annoying.

Re:And this is different from TV how? (1)

norpy (1277318) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144979)

A normal computer monitor controls it's brightness in the exact same way nowdays.

LED backlighting has replaced cold cathode flourescent backlighting pretty much universally

Re:And this is different from TV how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145139)

Well "normal" computer LCD's for me are fluorescent backlit.

Modern "computer" LCD's are nothing more than TV's with poor resolution and crappy aspect ratios. I'll stick to my 10 year old high resolution units.

Re:And this is different from TV how? (2)

norpy (1277318) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145379)

normal
adjective
1. conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.
2. serving to establish a standard.

Just because you don't like it doesn't make it not normal.
Also, just because it has a TV resolution does not make it a TV. Televisions are defined by their built in tuners that conform to broadcast standards, any screen that does not supply it's own video signal is considered a monitor.

I will give you the crappy resolution thing, but we are finally getting that pushed into the market thanks to apple. Although i'm skeptical about your "10 year old high resolution units" being much more than 1080p. Most of those panels that weren't stupidly expensive were still the same number of horizontal pixels as 1080p but were 16:10 instead of 16:9

Re:And this is different from TV how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145443)

there's an xkcd comic about this, someone will find it. But before that happens.. my 10 year old CRT has a max resolution of 3200x1600. That's what, 3x the resolution of 1080p? And this was a decade ago. This has nothing to do with apple.

Re:And this is different from TV how? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145135)

Except the flicker you describe occurs at kHz.

Keep telling yourself that you see it. You don't, and biologically can't.

Re:And this is different from TV how? (2)

queazocotal (915608) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145291)

You actually can see up to a few kHz.
Admittedly, not directly, but if you sweep your eye past a fast flashing light, it becomes a dotted, not solid line.
(The brain tries to turn off the eyes for a hundred or two ms during a saccade (rapid sweep), but this does not quite work.)

Re:And this is different from TV how? (1)

mirix (1649853) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145367)

Yeah, shaking your head will allow you to see pulsed/multiplexed stuff, but I'd think a few kHz is really stretching it. I wouldn't think much more than a couple hundred Hz at the most?

Guess it depends on the duty cycle too. I'd imagine 5% duty would be more obvious than 50% or 95% for a given (fixed) frequency.

Guess I'll have to write some LED blinkin' when I get home and see at what speed flailing the LED quits working. (yeah, I suppose speed of the person moving relative to the light matters, also - not to mention persistence of the phosphor, or filament, or (lack of persistence) for LEDs.)

Re:And this is different from TV how? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145507)

Yes thats valid for about 60 - 100 Hz. Not kHz.
Especially not say 100 - 250 kHz which you'll get with LEDs.

Re:And this is different from TV how? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145331)

Except the flicker you describe occurs at kHz.

That's not the whole story. There are badly implemented displays where the frequency is much lower. For example the one in Acer Ferrari One 200 subnotebook. Even at max brightness I found it annoying (but the glossy coating and small pixel size contributed to it, too). At lower levels the flicker was clearly visible. In a good display I should be done at the kHz range, though.

Re:And this is different from TV how? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145493)

Erm by definition, at full brightness there is no flicker from the backlight.
Any effect you noticed must have been something else.

Re:And this is different from TV how? (1)

aXis100 (690904) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145531)

Depends. LED's are more efficient when overdriven with high current pulses, with the duty cycle controlling the overall power level. 100% brightness might be 5x rated (continuous) current at a 20% duty cycle.

Pretty Obvious + Plug for Awesomeness (5, Interesting)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144819)

I think all /.ers have known this since about age 15. I used to go into a phase where I'd be up every night later and later until I was going to sleep at 6AM and waking up at 2PM. Eventually I'd lose a day and "reset" to a normal time only to inch back later ...

Anyway, here's a plug for the awesomesuace that is f.lux [stereopsis.com], which removes the blue hues from your monitor (since blue light is more associated with circadian rhythm than red) when it's supposed to be night. I am not associated with the makers of f.lux in any way except being a hopeless devotee and mentioning them to anyone within earshot that mentions difficult keeping a normal sleep cycle.

Re:Pretty Obvious + Plug for Awesomeness (4, Informative)

ad1217 (2418196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144907)

I would also say that F.lux (or Redshift for Linux, which works about the same, but is less buggy) is extremely helpful, though I use it because the red tint does not hurt my eyes as much.

Re:Pretty Obvious + Plug for Awesomeness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145143)

Thanks for this. Woke up in the middle of the night, as is a regular occurrence, read this comment and installed f.lux. Much better now.

Re:Pretty Obvious + Plug for Awesomeness (4, Informative)

Trogre (513942) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145185)

This.

Not that I use f.lux, but the GPL'd Redshift [jonls.dk] on my laptop. When switching it on, it feels like my eyes breathe a sigh of relief - it really is much easier to read off a red-orange-tinted surface at night.

Now if only they'd port it to Android.

Re:Pretty Obvious + Plug for Awesomeness (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145667)

There are a number of 'night mode' apps available for Android. ... though, for the life of me, I can't seem to find any of them. I know for fact I had some installed on at least one of my phones since ICS came out.

Re:Pretty Obvious + Plug for Awesomeness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145195)

i've been on a 26 hour day since i was about 16.

i just take melatonin supplements when i HAVE to go to sleep off my schedule, works for me.

Re:Pretty Obvious + Plug for Awesomeness (1)

baker_tony (621742) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145363)

Man, I love flux as well, have it installed on computers, iPad and iPhone. Makes a massive difference, just to eye strain!

Re:Pretty Obvious + Plug for Awesomeness (1)

smellotron (1039250) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145433)

I am not associated with the makers of f.lux in any way except being a hopeless devotee and mentioning them to anyone within earshot that mentions difficult keeping a normal sleep cycle.

Thanks, I am trying this out now.

Re:Pretty Obvious + Plug for Awesomeness (2)

Cato (8296) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145709)

F.lux is great, works on Windows, Mac and (jailbroken) iOS. One of the downsides of iOS devices as e-readers is that you have to jailbreak to get f.lux installed and not change your sleep cycle.

There's also XFlux, but I use Redshift too on Linux - http://www.ubuntu-inside.me/2009/03/flux-better-lighting-for-your-computer.html [ubuntu-inside.me]

[[http://stereopsis.com/flux/ios.html Now on iOS]] for jailbroken devices - see [[iPhone]] for jailbreaking.

Discussion: http://forum.koohii.com/viewtopic.php?id=5347&p=1 [koohii.com]

Blue light in morning resets circadian cycle: http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2006/0201-waking_up_teens.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Tie-in to SAD and phase advance or delay associated with depression: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060501113832.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Re:Pretty Obvious + Plug for Awesomeness (0)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145741)

Just be careful using f.lux if you're pulling an all nighter working with photo editing or video production, unless you're very "artsy." People will either say your colors are all off or you have a very unique style. Then again, it worked for the Wachowski brothers [wikipedia.org]...

f.lux or redshift (1)

heptapod (243146) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144839)

I use f.lux and it's pretty nice. Dims the screen and gives it a red cast around sunset, brightens to the normal, harsh blue glare around sunrise.

I didn't RTFA (like everyone on Slashdot) but did the researchers check with test subjects if these programs had any effect on their melatonin or sleep habits?

What (1)

s4v1or (2715869) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144841)

And here I thought it was all the awesome stuff on the device that kept me up, and not the display.

And now to play Civilization for a few minutes..

Uh, yeah. (3, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144847)

Exposure to light can reduce production of a hormone known to have its production reduced by exposure to light.

Re:Uh, yeah. (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145083)

The difference is that the researchers studied the effects of back lit display light, vs indoor incandescent light, candle light, fireplaces, outdoor camp fires, or cave entrance torches...

What I mean is that they lack control groups something fierce.

The short version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41144863)

Staring at a light keeps you awake :)

Wash & Powder Your Pee Pee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41144867)

Gnome? KDE? HA! I use OpenBox!

oh.. wait... wrong story.

Try Flux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41144879)

Link. [stereopsis.com] In a nutshell it adjusts the screen's colour temperature to help with this sort of problem. Ironically, perhaps, I'm too tired to write much more.

Its not the light, its what's in the light. (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144881)

How much of this affect can be conclusively attributed to the light itself and how much of it is actually the adrenaline rush from the video game? I suspect hours reading boring documentation under the exact same light would NOT have even remotely the same effeccts.

Re:Its not the light, its what's in the light. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144937)

How much of this affect can be conclusively attributed to the light itself and how much of it is actually the adrenaline rush from the video game? I suspect hours reading boring documentation under the exact same light would NOT have even remotely the same effeccts.

It does seem pretty likely that stimulating material on the display has its own effect; but there has been enough messing around with boring light sources(ie. LED arrays in white or blue with no display content at all) to suggest that light itself packs a decent punch.

I suppose, if one wanted to be especially sure, a bit of research on subjects given the stiffest doses of beta blockers that the IRB will allow might be in order. If you crater the beta receptors, this 'adrenaline rush' phenomenon will not be an issue. Probably easier just to get approval to shine LEDs in people's eyes, though.

on the hypothesis (2)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144897)

Not sure about the sample size...but the Institute backing the research looks reputable enough. (Yes, that matters.)

Anecdotally, I've been turning my TVs and monitors' backlights down after 5 pm for months now. I'm definitely able to get to sleep more easily than leaving monitors at full brightness.

Not that useful advice given here (1)

esldude (1157749) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145089)

"For now, the researchers recommend dimming backlit devices such as tablets when using them at night, and they suggest limiting their use at night in the first place." Heck, I have important or fun stuff to do in the daytime when there is plenty of light. Best time for such back lit devices is at night. Sigh.

Re:Not that useful advice given here (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145399)

Best time for such back lit devices is at night. Sigh.

Actually, no. The backlight really just competes with the ambient light. If you're in a bright, sunny room then it's going to require more light shining through the pixels for your eyes to see the picture clearly. If you're in a dark room, there's no glaring of light from other sources to mess up the image...so you need less backlighting to see the image.

Glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41144941)

So they build special glasses that annoyed people for two hours because it was impossible to get them to use a store-bought tablet, TV or PC for two hours?

Any word? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41144959)

So, any word on how many man-years of sleep have been pointlessly destroyed by the fact that blue LEDs are now cheap and 'cool' enough to include in assorted consumer electronics devices where low-power greens used to be used?

Maybe I'm just turning into a cranky old guy in my old age; but the old, dim, reds, ambers, and greens in various blinkenlight panels were downright soothing. Now you plug something in(even something designed to be pointed at a movie-watcher's face, FFS) and odds are that a blinding blue point source will burn a hole in your retina. Even a boring domestic-grade pile o' networking gear can put out enough light to read by at night.

Re:Any word? (1)

camionbleu (1633937) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145163)

I sympathize. Black electrical tape has restored my circadian rhythm.

Re:Any word? (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145301)

Likewise. I have a Samsung TV with a bright red light that's on whenever the device is off (WHY?) and a Samsung with lighted buttons where the power button's light doesn't ever turn off (WHY?). Both are covered with electric tape.

I swear, every time I think electronics manufacturers can't get dumber, they prove me wrong. The worst part of it is the realization that a simple firmware fix would make the difference between these being great devices and making me want to fly to South Korea and smack all their engineers upside the head repeatedly with a clue-by-four....

Re:Any word? (1)

VIPERsssss (907375) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145521)

I have a Samsung TV with a bright red light that's on whenever the device is off (WHY?) and a Samsung with lighted buttons where the power button's light doesn't ever turn off (WHY?).

Cylons...

Flat-lined (1)

thepacketmaster (574632) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145161)

My circadian rhythms flat-lined a long time ago. Years of video games, late night programming, and 2am change windows. Sleep is for the under-caffeinated.

....again (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145187)

...Is it just me, or is this story posted every year or two? I thought this was a very well phenomenon by this point...

Has nothing to do with... (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145233)

the constant pressure to pass tests in classrooms of ever increasing size, cutting back and eliminating PE, adding large fees to sports activities, or getting the kids up at 6am because the buses come at 6:45am to get 'em there by 8. Nope. It's the frickin' iPad that's at fault for kids not sleeping...

f.lux can help (1)

synaptic (4599) | about a year and a half ago | (#41145245)

The f.lux program for Windows sits in the system tray and continuously adjusts the blue component of the display based on the time of day.

http://stereopsis.com/flux/ [stereopsis.com]

You can also dose with melatonin caplets a little while before you know you want to sleep.

love (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41145307)

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