Print Books versus eBooks at Bedtime

An interesting article at explained why print books are much healthier for reading before bed than ebooks. The reason? Research shows artificial blue light from ebooks makes people feel less sleepy, makes it take longer to fall asleep, changes sleep patterns, and left people more sleepy the next morning than people who read print books.

I always read ebooks before bed. Because print books weigh more, and it’s hard for me to turn paper pages. Reading print books makes my pain worse the next day. Ebooks are lightweight and don’t flare me up. People who don’t have chronic pain or fatigue likely wouldn’t notice this difference.

Experts believe Kindle e-readers are the least risky because their lighting is closest to reading print. It’s still important to protect eyes from blue light coming from e-readers, tablets, computers, etc. A recent article covers how to protect your eyes from screen-induced damage. This includes:

  • Dim the screen display brightness if reading before bed
  • Keep other room lights low
  • Use blue light screen filters or blue blocking glasses

Although print books are considered healthier for reading before bed, individual people choose print versus ebooks for different reasons. If you enjoy reading ebooks before bed, make sure to protect your eyes.

Jan L. Mayes

MSc, Aud(C), RAud

Author, audiologist, educator, quiet activist, playing with words.

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