Is Reading the iPad in the Dark Bad for You?

The iPad's back-lit screen and compact form-factor make it convenient to read from the comfort of your sofa or bed in the evening or at night. Many iPad owners spend hours staring at the iPad screen while in a dark environment. So you might be wondering, "Is reading or staring at the iPad's screen in the dark or at night bad for you?"

Recent research provides compelling evidence that staring at a bright screen in the dark (or at night) can be harmful to your health in a variety of ways. But why?

Modern computers and mobile devices, with their back-lit screens, trick your brain into thinking it's day-time, even if you're staring at the screen in the late-evening or at night.

This day-light effect with electronic devices like the iPad is more acute than with older display devices like the television. Unlike watching TV, when a person stares at an iPad screen, they are usually within a couple feet of the screen, and most content is read against a white or very light-colored background, so the intensity of light exposure is greater. Furthermore, iPad's are often used for reading, so they are more likely to be used before bed time.

Exposure to bright light inhibits melatonin production and generally stimulate the human body to stay awake. If reading on an iPad before bed is a regular part of your routine, you're probably falling asleep later and getting less sleep overall because of it.

Over time, falling asleep later than your body naturally would can cause cumulative sleep deficits that take a toll on your health. Extended sleep deprevation can cause general fatigue, gloominess, reduction in alertness, and even susceptibility to illness.

Lack of sleep is not the only consequence of frequently using the iPad in the dark. The quality of sleep is also reduced - after a given length of sleep - you are likely to feel less well-rested if you were exposed to extended bright light directly prior to sleeping.

So what's the solution? Simply dim your iPad screen below the minimum setting! Unfortunately,There's no application on the iPad capable of dimming the screen below the minimum brightness level (unless you're willing to jailbreak the ipad).

That's why we invented the Dimmy to dim your iPad below it's minimum brightness setting!