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back to article Don't try to sleep with your iPad, doctor warns

Curling up with an iPad might not be as restful as one might hope as the electroluminescent glow inhibits the production of melatonin. And you might drop it too. So says the Director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center, Frisca Yan-Go, who reckons that having that much light right in front of the eyes prevents the brain producing …

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Ebook Vs Book

"But we’re not convinced – the e-book edition of Legacy of Ashes is an awful lot easier to read in bed than the hardback, and e-books don’t squash your thumb all night if you do doze off."

At least if I roll onto my paper book at night, I just get some bruises, rather than spending the next morning at A+E getting bits of glass and plastic pulled out of me, eh?

I dare say the warranty doesn't cover "was having a wonderful dream of killing all humans, and put my elbow through the screen" either. Although it'd be an interesting claim to make.

eBook Readers in bed - I wouldn't.

Steven R

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This actually made me LOL...

"At least if I roll onto my paper book at night, I just get some bruises, rather than spending the next morning at A+E getting bits of glass and plastic pulled out of me, eh?"

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rcdicky

Glad to be of service, my remotely controlled penile pal.

Steven R

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again?

How many pointless "iPad" stories, reports, studies have to filter through the outlets? Is this what Apple have resorted to as marketing? It's pathetic lame and speaks volumes about the pointless product.

I speak as an Apple user, but not a church subscriber. I will criticise them all day! The fanboi nonsense blows. I love my Windows computers too. *gasp*

Next we'll have a story of a 99 year old woman that can for the first time be online because of the iPad and it'll be on YouTube. But it'll be a non-story really because she'll have someone sitting next to her tellingher what to do. No... wait. :)

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How come...

Apple are getting the blame for this?

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@Bear Features

If you read the article, you'd know that the iPad was compared to real books and other ebook systems.

Stop wasting everyone's time by posting troller comments that are completely irrelevant to the matter in hand!

(and El Reg might want to stop putting iPad in the title of every article that even mentions them)

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jai
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Troll

why would they?

El Reg knows full well that if they put iPad into the title of every article they can, we'll all click on it to read it - which earns them advertising revenue from all the stinking crap flash inserts

and then we click on the comments page to vent our rage and earn them 3 more advert views

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Coat

Not to mention...

...that iPads have wipe-clean screens... ahem.

What? No Kleenex icon??

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Paris Hilton

Wipe clean screens?

What's wrong with cling film?

Er, I mean, nothing.

Steven R

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Happy

Re E-ink screens don’t offer the same contrast

They will later this year.

www.trustedreviews.com/peripherals/news/2010/04/26/E-Ink-Demos-Next-Generation-eBook-Reader-Displays/p1

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Stop

Another missive from the Dept of the Blindingly Obvious

So this is basically saying that sleeping with the lights on makes it harder to get a good nights sleep? Can we expect a follow-up story that shockingly reveals that random loud noises have also been discovered to disrupt sleep?

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Marketing everywhere

Up until now I've never heard anyone complain about the "low contrast" of cheap paperbacks (and I'm guessing cheap newspapers and documents eco-printed on recycled paper). However according this this piece, the "limited contrast" of e-Ink, although better than the cheap paperbacks will cause eyestrain. So I guess we should all get iPads.

I'm not sure if I should be amused or disgusted.

Perhaps it should be mentioned yet again:

iPad - backlit

e-Ink - reflective

They are completely different. Perhaps we should also factor in the possible eyestrain resulting from staring into a light bulb in low lit surroundings for extended lengths of time.

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Boffin

Catch 22

Melatonin, if I remember my secondary school crash course in biology (no, I mean the national curriculum one, not the back of the bikesheds one), is produced when it's dark, and inhibited when its light - much as the article suggests.

My problem is that e-books and real books will only allow melatonin to be produced if you're reading them in the dark. I normally have the light on to read those, so presumably melatonin output is minimised, much like when reading from an iPad, or indeed any other brand of backlit screen.

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Auto-screensaver?

Doesn't the iPad have an auto screensaver / sleep mode?

Assuming it does (after all my PC has had one for about 20 years) :

So you'd only be getting the screen light for maybe 10 minutes.

Compared to reading a book in bed where you'd need a light to be left switched on which would stay switched on all night.

So, if I understood the article correctly, the iPad is bad because it shines a light at you.

But reality states that the choices are have 10 minutes of iPad glow or a full night of bedside light.

So, I hate to admit it, maybe iPad=good? (or at least marginally better than books for people that fall asleep with them)

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Anonymous Coward

Some books are also lighter than others

dropping your copy of Animal Farm amidst the covers as you doze off is not that much of a concern. War'n'Peace: rather more so.

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Hmmmm...

I read my Sony eReader in bed at the moment with a bedside lamp on and manage to get to sleep OK (bedside lamp is pretty close to me)

Surely this is no different?

Still negative press is still press. Apple are loving all of this I'm sure.

I'm just waiting for some drunk Apple employee to leave the next-gen iPad in my local boozer...

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Doesn't the device go to sleep about the same time you do? It should.

Battery life or not, it should switch off - if you're snoring, for instance. Unless there's a stop-snoring app.

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Another non-story

Ohhh.. iPad bad for sleep because of the backlit screen.... now what else has those and is likely to be close enough to your face to read? Oh yes a laptop computer.

Would a story about looking at a laptop screen before sleep really have got any coverage? Stick iPad in the story and the media are all over it.

You know, it's *almost* as if this researcher used the iPad as a tag to get some publicity for his studies and help the next round of research grants.

But that would never happen would it.

Come on El Reg, if you're going to regurgitiate dross stories like this at least do a bit of cynical analysis like in the good old days. The Register is getting ever more similar the media outlets it so rightly mocks.

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What would really sell me on one

is if it was waterproof so I could read it in the bath/by the pool on hols.

I currently read in bed of my iPod touch - I don't have to keep the light on and see Mrs Means glaring at me. I can switch it off and just feel it.

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Light is one thing...

I don't want to go to sleep with anything that will emit radiation during the whole night... Keeping an ipad under the pillow surely must be a bad idea: 6+ hours of constant radiation from a few cm away.

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Oh grow up you muppet

If you're going to worry about the fifty or a hundred milliwatts of radio waves emitted in short, widely spaced bursts (if that) by the Wi-Fi adapter of an idle iPad, I bet you must be scared as hell of the sun, right? Because in a fraction of a second's worth of full sunlight, you get vastly more incident energy, including long-wave UV and OMGSCARYMICROWAVES!!1!, than you would if you stayed in the basement and replaced your usual tinfoil toque with an iPad for a whole twenty-four hours straight -- even if you had somehow installed a BitTorrent client on that iPad and set it to download the whole series run of 'The X-Files', just to make sure the Wi-Fi antenna never got a chance to cool down.

Or, wait, what's this you're telling me? You read some bullshit neo-Luddite scare story about how wireless radios and cellphones are giving us all testicular herpes cancer of the brain, didn't stop to think it through for even a couple of seconds and weren't mentally equipped to make sense of it anyway, and went batshit stupid with this idea that sleeping cuddled up to an iPad would turn your brains to jelly? -- not that that'd take much in your case, mate.

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Grenade

iMsick of these iStories

This is another report on yet more lame, make-work "research" that either goes to great lengths confirming self-evident facts or goes to equally great lengths confirming something utterly frivolous or somehow otherwise without merit.

But hey, let's be generous for a moment and assume this really is a scientific discovery. iPads have a regular LCD screen like a gazillion other portable computing devices. Which people often use in the dark. In bed. Before sleeping. So why no research highlighting why Asus or Acer netbooks can screw up your sleep? Why no alarm at the prospect of company supplied Dell laptops doing the same? There are a hell of a lot more of these devices out there turning countless poor schmucks into insomniacs than there are iToys.

Oh, wait...

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Unless, of course...

...one turns the brightness down.

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Unless, of course...

I read in bed using the Kindle software on an iPod Touch, and it is set to turn the brightness down automatically (you can set it manually if you want). And the Stanza reader has brightness adjustment via a gesture.

The screen does turn off after a few minutes of inactivity, but on top of all that, I can set the screen to white text on black!

BTW, there probably is a reason to literally sleep with your iPad - I thought that the headline was referring to that alarm clock app that requires you to put your iPhone under your matress (it uses the accelerometer to wake you at a point where you're sleeping ligher

http://www.lexwarelabs.com/sleepcycle/ ).

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Anonymous Coward

meh

"E-ink screens don’t offer the same contrast as a high-quality printed book, but fare better when compared to a cheap paperback, so it’s a matter of personal taste – if e-ink hasn’t the contrast for you then go for an iPad, but any problems sleeping and you’re better off with e-ink."

Can't we just admit that whatever you read it'll break your eyes. And not just reading either; driving, watching TV, being in the sun, not being in the sun, etc. Basically if you are alive then your eyes are being damaged right now. Your whole body even, they used to call it old age but it seems that growing old today is not natural but rather the result of negligence on your part.

People act like our bodies wouldn't deteriorate if only we just stopped doing everything (starting with the things we enjoy the most), as if an extended life would even be worth living in such a scenario.

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Bollocks

If you want to read an e-ink device in bed, you have to have a light on, because it's not backlit. And once you've tried the crappy cover-mounted reading lights, and realised that they're useless because of reflection, that means you have to have a pretty bright night-stand light on at the very least. A backlit device on a low-to-moderate setting is positively soothing by comparison.

Am I qualified to argue with a professor specialising in sleep disorders? Well, as usual we can't see the actual research to see what was actually published, only a clueless LA Times journo's interpretation of a dumbed-down press release. So we have no idea what the original research behind this story actually said, but I'm willing to bet that it diverges somewhat from the LA Times reporter's take on it.

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Face it ...

... reading a book electronically is a crap experience. I have a number of electronic books and they remain unread and unused. The paper versions of them however are constantly being perused.

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Coat

"Don't try to sleep with your iPad, doctor warns"

...because you'll burn your willy?

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FAIL

Jeez, and people complain about battery life...

...if you're going to sleep, switch it off/into hibernate/standby/whatever.

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Alert

Misleading title

....hands up all those that thought this article was about Apple fanbois trying to f*** their latest gadget?

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Time for a SAD app!

There you go Register, you've just inspired me to create a SAD App to help sufferers with this illness.

OK, basically it's a plain white screen. But I'll charge a fortune for it!

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Boffin

There is probably something to this...

Circadian light is a personal interest. Some random Googling produced the fact that the iPad has a screen brightness of a bit over 300 nit. That is getting up into the range where some sort of effect might be detected. The problem is that figuring out how much light is too much is a bit complicated. The easy fix for the iPad (as for any other light producing screen) is to turn down the brightness. Since the iPad has an ambient light sensor it isn't really any extra work to do this.

The circadian light thing has all the attributes required to become the next magic rock. My somewhat cynical thoughts are listed here:

http://59.ca/weblog/ledlight/clight.html

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Simple solution

Don't sleep with your backlit-LCD devices turned on. Very simple, indeed.

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Stop

Just one place of refuge from tech please!

Been a tech geek since I was 8, some 31 years now, I don't like having tech gadgets in the bedroom. The one place you need to wind down and switch off. Can't we just leave the gadgets outside eh? I am not into all this Fung-Soya cobblers, but it's hard enough to keep the EMFs at bay, let alone sleeping with the buggers next to your head!

Only a handful of electric gadgets should be in the bedroom, the clock, the lamps and ahem, other battery powered "devices", but laptops and their ilk? No thanks!

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Anonymous Coward

"it's hard enough to keep the EMFs at bay"

You could always move to a shack in the mountains and start mailbombing people.

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Easy way to avoid eyestrain etc...

Just turn the system to a White-on-Black mode (if it has one) - it's the white that dos your eyes in, so decreasing that sorts it out.

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