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Tablets, laptops may cause sleep problems

Sleep delayed due to iPad and other devices

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Sleeping with an iPad on the night stand might cause sleep problems.

A study by Mariana Figueiro, of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, indicates using an iPad set at the maximum brightness level for at least two hours before bedtime slows the normal release of melatonin.

Under regular conditions, melatonin is the hormone that signals the body that it is nighttime and leads to drowsiness.

Delaying this hormone could cause some to stay awake longer, creating more sleep problems.

Long term use of an iPad, tablet devices or laptops before bed can result in more serious sleep disorders, according to the study.

However, one positive result was found in the study. Using the iPad or similar device upon waking, could be therapeutic to people suffering from disorders associated with light.

The researchers recommend turning down the brightness on the devices at night, or turning them off all together.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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