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Your computer screen may be to blame for your insomnia

This interesting article from the New York Times does a great job of describing what happens when a family's sleep patterns collide. What really got us interested in the article though, was the mention of computer screens perhaps being a contributor to routine late nights.

Apparently, computer screens emit blue light which act as a stimulator to the human brain - effectively telling it that it's daytime and that we should be awake.

Lots of us turn on the computer late at night when we can't get to sleep. Perhaps this small action is actually making our insomnia worse. Something to think about - and, as always, we'd appreciate hearing your thoughts.

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Last updated: April 30, 2010

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • Martin Reed
    January 18, 2011, 4:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Kelsey. Please keep us updated!

    Reply
  • Kelsey
    January 14, 2011, 7:33 am

    I thought I should post this here:

    http://www.stereopsis.com/flux/

    I’m not in a position to share my experiences with it as I’ve only just discovered it myself! I can say though, that after switching it on for the first time I’ve felt extremely relaxed, and it just seems more natural. From the comments on the site it does sound like others have had success.

    Reply
  • Martin Reed
    May 6, 2010, 9:25 am

    Emma – I imagine that even after adjusting the color controls of your monitor it would still emit the ‘blue light’ that apparently promotes wakefulness.

    That being said, anything is worth a try!

    Reply
  • Emma
    May 6, 2010, 5:03 am

    Blue light is supposedly the most effective at promoting wakefulness. So could it help to reduce the blue in your screen? (My screen has an option called “color control” that lets you set the color balance.)

    Reply
  • Martin Reed
    April 12, 2010, 11:33 am

    Thanks for your comment, Ryan. I agree that more research is needed – some people have told me that cutting out (or at least down) on computer use in the evening has helped them sleep better, yet we don’t really know the reasons for this. Is it because of the light, or does it just come down to the brain being stimulated?

    In any case, it seems that different things work for different people when it comes to insomnia – we just try to cover whatever we come across to give readers new avenues to explore.

    Reply
  • Ryan
    April 11, 2010, 10:42 am

    Interesting thought, as I tend to do this without realising, however being the computer geek I am I tend to be up late on the computer before I attempt to sleep.. I do get up back to the pc tho If I can’t sleep. Being that the sterotype for computer geeks is that we are up late “playing” as they call it, Id like to see some research done with non computer using insomniacs vs Computer using and see if there is a link there.. As for now, I love my computer and I am in denial over this fact.. even tho the logical conclusion would be that it is right.

    Reply