Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Night Reading and E-Books: Making an Important Decision
I also keep my magazines on it so I'm never without a New Yorker. (Hey, I've got to be prepared for every contingency.)
However, there's a limit to how I will use an e-book.
Now, I didn't understand my limitations until recently, more than a year after I started loading my Kindle — and, now, my iPad (thank you, Kindle Reader app!).
My limitation is simple, but clear: I will not take my Kindle to bed.
Oh, I may work like a demon on my computer until 2 am and I may Pinterest or BuzzFeed on my iPad until way later than I should; I am, after all, only human (despite evidence to the contrary). Electronics are valuable. However, I always shut off the electronics when I climb between the covers.
Well, now. I must admit, I haven't always made that decision. Until recently, I had no issue with perusing my Kindle or iPad before picking up my book.
Then I realized I couldn't fall asleep.
There is evidence that the light from tablets suppresses melatonin, which can throw off a person's circadian rhythm.
That's science. Here's my own evidence: I don't fall asleep easily or quickly after using electronics with a screen. It takes me an hour or more after computer time before I am ready to fall asleep.
Don't get me wrong: I am tired. I am weary. I am ready for the day to end. I want to fall asleep. I cannot, however, do that in front of a screen. To be fair, I cannot do it in front of a television, either: I can count on one hand the number of times I have fallen asleep while watching television. The screen hypnotizes me and keeps me awake long after my body is ready for bed.
The same, apparently, applies to tablet reading.
I will do it because until they build a "mousetrap" that lets this difficult sleeper fall asleep easily, I won't make my life any harder. E-books have their place — just not in my bed.