In just a couple of short years, the iPad has become the ultimate consumer gadget. Many find it hard to tear themselves away from the screen, often until late into the night.

However, if you’re an iPad freak  and you have trouble sleeping, you should take heed from a new study from the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. They found that spending two hours at night using a self-luminous electronic displays ( aka your iPad, Samsung Galaxy, etc) can reduce your melatonin levels by up to 22%.

Melatonin, the “sleepy hormone” helps regulate circadian rhythms by inducing drowsiness and lowering body temperature just before you go to sleep. It’s a vital part of your natural sleep/wake cycle and is used to treat insomniacs and people with sleep disorders.

The key agent in these findings is the characteristic blue light emitted from the screens of all tablet devices. However, if you can’t tear yourself away from your beloved iPad there are some tips you can use to prevent the melatonin-zapping effects. Screen filters cut down the glare whilst reducing the amount of blue wavelength light. Dimming the brightness and increasing the viewing distance to the screen also helps.

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