Scientists Confirm Screen Exposure Disrupts Sleep
Prolonged exposure to various screens affects the way retinal cells program our internal clocks, a new study finds.
With the sheer astronomical rise in devices surrounding us, from smartphones and tablets, to flat screen televisions and laptops, it seems our eyes are subjected to more strain than ever before. After all, the average American spends upwards of 4 hours of their waking time in front of a screen.
Although an arsenal of technology including biometric scanners and indestructible screens are on the rise, we should also be aware of the effect the extra time scrolling, writing and reading, has on our eyes. Now, researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California have set out to do just that.
Finding the Link
The research focuses specifically on its impact on our sleep, specifically the ways in which cells in the eyes–intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs)–(1) process the ambient light we are exposed to and then (2) respond to this exposure by modifying our biorhythms.
To achieve their results, the team looked at the production of the cells in mice, and found that the response to light exposure from the cells was not consistent, which means that retinal cell regeneration, an important part of the process, could not be sustained. They hope to explore the reasons behind this in future research.