Science Reporting

Blue light of screens causes sleep problems in adolescents according to study

Restricting the use of the screen before going to sleep can limit adolescents’ sleep problems according to research presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Endocrinology, ECE 2019. Specifically limiting exposure to the blue light emission of these screens during the evening can help teenagers improve the quality of sleep and generally reduce fatigue and lack of concentration, as well as bad mood, during the day.

And this after only one week of treatment according to the study carried out by the Dutch Institute of Neuroscience, the UMC in Amsterdam and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. The researchers studied the effects of exposure to screens, particularly the blue light they emit, by adolescents and found that those who spent more than four hours a day in front of a screen fell asleep on average 30 minutes later in the evening compared to children who stood in front of a screen for less than an hour a day.

By performing the same experiments but blocking the blue light emitted by the screens with special glasses, the researchers realized that the kids could fall asleep more easily.

According to Dirk Jan Stenvers, one of the researchers involved in the study, “Teenagers spend more and more time on devices with screens and sleep disturbances are frequent in this age group. Here we simply show that these sleep disorders can be easily reversed by minimizing the use of the evening screen or exposure to blue light. According to our data, it is likely that adolescent sleep disturbances and delayed onset of sleep are at least partly mediated by the blue light of the screens.”