Side Effects of reading eBooks
eBook Reader leaning on traditional printed books

Many of us love reading books. Some love literature while some love educational content. eBook readers are new gadgets that are changing the reading scenario. These devices can hold a lot of content and provide a great experience. All we need to do is charge battery and keep it alive. These digital readers are great in our view. However, there might be some side effects of reading eBooks. One research of doctors of Harvard Medical School concluded that reading eBook before sleeping is harmful.

In this digital era, we consume content on many devices. By content, we mean videos, articles, news, and books. Most of us use our computer, smartphone, and tablets. We read books on eBook readers, tablets, and smartphone as well. It all comes down to device we own and easiness. There are some negative effects of using electronic displays without care and this is one of them.

The research was done with two groups. One group read normal books before sleep and another used eBook. The result showed bad impacts of reading eBooks on the sleep cycle. The research consisted of 12 subjects for two weeks. Blood sample of participants was also tested regularly and the results were not on the side of eBooks.

Problems and Cause

People who used eBooks had trouble getting sleep and also felt laziness in the morning. There were problems in the sleep cycle of participants. There were lower levels of melatonin in the eBook users as well. While the normal printed book readers didn’t have lower levels compared to digital screen users. Melatonin is a hormone that helps us to get sleep. In comparison to regular book readers, other subjects felt less sleepiness before bedtime as well.

Our body finds the difference in time by light. Our biological clock is adjusted that way. The light from eBook readers, tablets, mobiles, and computers gives artificial light to our senses which lowers the production of Melatonin. Thus due to lack of it, the body can’t get into the sleep cycle. So the person has trouble getting sleep. Also as the sleep cycle and time is disturbed, the person can’t get quality sleep due to disturbed routine. This makes people feel lazy in the morning.

More precisely it is blue light which does this harm. There are some readers like Kindle Paperwhite that come without light. They can only be used in the day time so they can be comparatively safer. The research is not against eBooks or digital screen here. It just suggests the side effects of using electronic displays with light at night.

Other Problems

Using computers, mobile phones, and tablets until late night will also affect sleep and health the same way. Once a sleep routine and the biological clock is altered it is a bit hard to reset it and bring it to normal. Users should be careful about their consumption and use. Some device manufacturers are already pushing out blue light filters to tackle this.

There are some apps for smartphones which control blue light as well. F.lux is one popular example of such software for phones and computer. The best advice is trying to sleep at a fixed time and avoiding using electronic devices at least half an hour before sleeping. If you can’t control, at least try to use blue light filters.

Also Read: Two new particles discovered at Cern

The internet use graph from various ISP shows that the highest data consumption is at the day from offices. But it is highest at home at night which means people use more electronic or gadgets at night. Nowadays people use more smartphones and tablets. This excessive night use can surely hurt the sleep cycle as well as a daily healthy routine. Mainly children and students should be very careful on this topic.

There are some other problems that hurt today’s youth as well. Most of them don’t focus or give attention to their posture. They sit in a very unhealthy position that hurts their neck, shoulder, and back. Back and neck problem is becoming more popular in youths than old people. This is problematic and computer plus smartphone users should be careful about this.

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