Monday October 21, 2019

Limiting Phone Use Can Reverse Sleep Problems In a Week

The researchers found that those who had more than four hours per day of screen time had on average 30 minutes later sleep onset and wake up times

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Phone, Sleep Problems, Week
The lack of sleep does not just cause immediate symptoms of tiredness and poor concentration but can also increase the risk of more serious long-term health issues. Pixabay

Limiting evening exposure to blue-light emitting screens on smartphones, tablets and computers can reverse sleep problems and reduce symptoms of fatigue, lack of concentration and bad mood in teenagers, after just one week, says a study.

The researchers found that those who had more than four hours per day of screen time had on average 30 minutes later sleep onset and wake up times than those who recorded less than one hour per day of screen time, as well as more symptoms of sleep loss.

“Adolescents increasingly spend more time on devices with screens and sleep complaints are frequent in this age group,” said study co-author Dirk Jan Stenvers from Amsterdam UMC hospital in the Netherlands.

Recent studies have indicated that exposure to too much evening blue light emitted from devices can affect the brain’s clock and the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, resulting in disrupted sleep time and quality.

The lack of sleep does not just cause immediate symptoms of tiredness and poor concentration but can also increase the risk of more serious long-term health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Phone, Sleep Problems, Week
Limiting evening exposure to blue-light emitting screens on smartphones, tablets and computers can reverse sleep problems. Flickr

“Here we show very simply that these sleep complaints can be easily reversed by minimising evening screen use or exposure to blue light. Based on our data, it is likely that adolescent sleep complaints and delayed sleep onset are at least partly mediated by blue light from screens,” Stenvers added.

For the study, the researchers conducted a randomised controlled trial among a small group of smartphone users to assess the effects of blocking blue light with glasses and no screen time during the evening on the sleep pattern.

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Both blocking blue light with glasses and screen abstinence resulted in sleep onset and wake up times occurring 20 minutes earlier, and a reduction in reported symptoms of sleep loss in participants, after just one week.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Endocrinology annual meeting, ECE 2019 in Lyon, France. (IANS)

Next Story

New Interface That Allows Phone to ‘Feel’ Sensations just as Human Skin

In the study, the researchers created a phone case, computer touch pad and smart watch to demonstrate how touch gestures on the Skin-On interface can convey expressive messages

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Human Skin
The "Skin-On" interface, mimics human skin in appearance but also in sensing resolution. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a new interface that allows phones, wearables or computers to “feel” sensations such as tickling, caressing, twisting and even pinching just as the human skin does.

The “Skin-On” interface, mimics human skin in appearance but also in sensing resolution.

In the study, the researchers created a phone case, computer touch pad and smart watch to demonstrate how touch gestures on the Skin-On interface can convey expressive messages for computer mediated communication with humans or virtual characters.

The researchers demonstrated that tickling the skin can generate a laughing emoji on a phone, while tapping it can create a surprised emoji.

“One of the main use of smartphones is mediated communication, using text, voice, video, or a combination,” said lead author of the study Marc Teyssier from Telecomm ParisTech in France.

Skin
The artificial Skin allows devices to ‘feel’ the user’s grasp — its pressure and location, and can detect interactions such as tickling, caressing, even twisting and pinching. Pixabay

“We implemented a messaging application where users can express rich tactile emotions on the artificial skin. The intensity of the touch controls the size of the emojis. A strong grip conveys anger while tickling the skin displays a laughing emoji and tapping creates a surprised emoji” Teyssier said.

The study scheduled to be presented at the 32nd ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium to be held in New Orleans in the US from October 20-23 takes touch technology to the next level.

The researchers adopted a bio-driven approach to developing the multi-layer, silicone membrane. This is made up of a surface textured layer, an electrode layer of conductive threads and a hypodermis layer.

Not only is the interface more natural than a rigid casing, it can also detect a plethora of gestures made by the end-users.

Skin
Touch gestures on the Human Skin-On interface can convey expressive messages for computer mediated communication with humans or virtual characters. Pixabay

As a result, the artificial skin allows devices to ‘feel’ the user’s grasp — its pressure and location, and can detect interactions such as tickling, caressing, even twisting and pinching.

“This is the first time we have the opportunity to add skin to our interactive devices. The idea is perhaps a bit surprising, but skin is an interface we are highly familiar with so why not use it and its richness with the devices we use every day?” said University of Bristol Professor Anne Roudaut who supervised the research.

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“Artificial skin has been widely studied in the field of robotics but with a focus on safety, sensing or cosmetic aims. This is the first research we are aware of that looks at exploiting realistic artificial skin as a new input method for augmenting devices,” Teyssier said. (IANS)