Sleep disruption and technology

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Chapter 9 endnote 2, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

Friends and employers expect you to be surgically attached to your cell phone at all hours, which means you never truly relax, and late-night screen time disrupts your sleeping patterns.

From Balancing the Blues:[1]

“Why should patient education regarding blue light start now? The world has changed, and we are becoming a technology and cyber-savvy society. A survey by The Vision Council in 2012 revealed that more than one-third of American adults said they spent four to six hours a day using digital media or electronic devices and 14 percent said they used it 10 to 12 hours a day. According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2011, 75 percent of households reported having a computer compared to about 62 percent in 2003 and 8 percent in 1984. Household Internet use has also shot up over the years with about 72 percent of homes having access to the Internet in 2011 as opposed to about 55 percent in 2003 and a mere 18 percent in 1997.”

Blue light (380-500 nanometers) is emitted from computer screens, tablets, and smartphones. Light at 435-440 nanometers is particularly problematic for sleep, because your retina (a sheet of neurons at the back of your eye) contain cells that are sensitive to light at those frequencies, throwing off your sleep-wake cycle[2] and metabolism.[3][4]


Notes on the Notes

  1. Murphy, Cheryl G. 2014. "Balancing the blues." 20/20, January.
  2. Chang, Anne-Marie, Daniel Aeschbach, Jeanne F. Duffy, and Charles A. Czeisler. 2015. "Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112 (4): 1232-1237. 
  3. Aytürk, Didem Göz, Ana Maria Castrucci, David E. Carr, Susanna R. Keller, and Ignacio Provencio. 2015. "Lack of melanopsin is associated with extreme weight loss in mice upon dietary challenge." PloS One 10 (5): e0127031. 
  4. For more information, see Tosini, Gianluca, Ian Ferguson, and Kazuo Tsubota. 2016. "Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology." Molecular Vision 22: 61–72.