Reading helps bring both the mind and body to ease while also imparting you with more wisdom and knowledge. With that said, not every medium of reading is equal to the other. And, we’ve compiled a few reasons as to why you shouldn’t be reading a tablet before bed.
In this article, we’re going to go over the exact reasons why you shouldn’t read a tablet before bed. So, read on!
Negatively Affects Your Sleep
Whether you are reading from an E-Ink Kindle or just a conventional iPad. No matter how much you try to mitigate the risk by introducing blue light filters into the equation, a tablet will still disrupt your circadian rhythm.
This is because blue light naturally messes up with your body’s melatonin levels (the compound that helps you sleep.) As a result, you end up feeling less drowsy and it takes you much longer to fall asleep.
You can start using software-enabled filters and blue light glasses to even out some of the harm. But, regardless of your effort; you will still find trouble sleeping if you use a tablet to read before bed. Therefore, a paper book on a night lamp is the optimal solution for the nightly bookworm inside you.
According to a study from the University of Bergen, reading from your iPad even with a blue light filter on for even 30 minutes can disrupt your brain wave activity by a significant margin. It delays your slow brain-wave activity; which in turn, is directly correlated to deep sleep.
Using a tablet in the night with the lights out can cause severe eye strain. Besides just making it harder to sleep, this severely affects your eye health over the long term and can cause pain and irritation.
According to research, humans tend to blink less when they are reading or using a screen as they devolve all their focus towards the task that they are doing. This causes dryness and irritation to develop as your eyes aren’t lubricated well enough.
Moreover, the glare and flickering a tablet has can also cause significant harm to your eyes. While you can keep your tablet away from you by a significant distance and ensure proper procedures that your eyes aren’t strained; you can’t do so before bed.
This, in turn, exaggerates the negative effects that reading a tablet in bed has.
Distractions Can Waste Time
Let’s face it, when you have a tablet – even for the strict purpose of reading, you’ll be bogged down with notifications from work, from your friends, family, and everyone else. While you can fight yourself to not open that; you just eventually may.
When you do, you’ll fall under the pitfall of social media and instant communication. Now, your bedtime, which was supposed to be 30 minutes ago has long passed, and there seem to be no signs of stopping.
In essence, using a tablet can be extremely addictive right before bed. This affects your overall sleep, health, and lifestyle as you’ll be spending an extraneous amount of unchecked time just mindlessly browsing through social media.
On the other hand, with a book, you can’t dabble in the world of social media and will either keep reading the book or will go to sleep.
Causes Anxiety And Stress
To reiterate, just reading on a tablet won’t cause anxiety or stress. But, the fact that you can easily move through social media means that you’ll eventually fall under the trap of doomscrolling. This is where you keep on avidly going through social media headlines that are morbid, to say the least.
For individuals who suffer from anxiety or stress, this is extremely problematic. Firstly, you have a new emotional state to deal with but are also now experiencing an increased heart rate and a heightened level of alertness. This, in turn, means that your sleep is pushed further forward and you probably won’t be able to make it to your first meeting in time.
So, what started off as a simple reading session can quickly escalate into you mindlessly scrolling through Facebook for hours on end causing harm to your mental health while also negatively impacting your sleep and lifestyle.
Is Reading A Book Better Than Reading On A Tablet?
Yes, reading a book before going to bed is a much better alternative than reading on a iPad. This is because reading a book before bed has a plethora of medically proven benefits that can help your health and lifestyle.
For instance, a 2021 online study has concurred that reading a book before bed helps with sleep quality. Moreover, it also helps with improving sleep duration, and is known to reduce insomnia, and ease anxiety and stress.
In essence, while there is no benefit and only disadvantages to reading on a tablet before bed, the opposite is true for books. You gain a multitude of benefits that are both beneficial to your health, sleep, and lifestyle.
Audiobooks also serve as great alternatives to reading a tablet while in bed. While they do not carry all the benefits a book does, they do help you unwind after a long day and get some reading done before you eventually head to bed.
Since you won’t really be using your eyes when you listen to an audiobook, you won’t be suffering from eye strain, and neither will you be worried about blue light exposure either.