A study, to be released in Lyon at the annual meeting of the European Society of Endocrinology, examines the relationship between the use of this equipment and the sleep of adolescents, and concludes that too much nocturnal exposure to light, especially the blue light emitted by the smartphones, tablets and computers can affect the brain's biological clock and the production of sleep hormone, melatonin, resulting in a disruption in time and quality of sleep.
"Lack of sleep not only causes immediate symptoms of tiredness and loss of concentration, but can also increase the risk of more serious long-term health problems such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease," the statement said.
There are a number of studies that suggest that time-related sleep deprivation can affect children and adolescents more than adults, but did not thoroughly investigate how real-time exposure is affecting adolescents' sleep in and how it can be reversed.
The analysis that was released yesterday results from a partnership between the Dutch Institute of Neuroscience, the Medical University of Amsterdam and the German Institute of Public Health and Environment.
The researchers studied the effects of adolescent exposure to the blue light of home screens. Those who stayed more than four hours a day in front of the screen fell asleep on average 30 minutes later and woke up more often than younger people who stayed less than an hour exposed to that light source, as well as other symptoms of lack of sleep .
Dirk Jan Stenvers, from the University of Amsterdam's Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, said that adolescents spend more and more time with screens and that sleep-related complaints are frequent in this age group.