Open A Real Book: Reading On Devices At Night Messes Up Your Sleep

We are all guilty of looking at our phones too much. It's hard not to; there's so much happening on them.

This isn't entirely our fault, as it's linked to our psychology.

The screens we spend so much time looking at actually release dopamine in our brains. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter which regulates the brain's pleasure, motivation and reward centers.

Simply put, your addiction to Angry Birds is partially linked to chemicals in your brain. It's like a drug. There is evidence every little notification we receive -- Facebook likes, retweets, even text messages -- leads to dopamine release.

Yet, a recent study from Harvard Medical School found staring at so many screens can have an extremely negative effect on your sleep cycle.

We all have routines before bed, but if yours frequently includes the use of an iPad, smartphone or laptop, it could be leading to insomnia.

Researchers had subjects read either books or iPads five nights in a row, for the same amount of time, before sleep. The people using iPads felt decidedly less sleepy at night and less alert in the morning.

The study found the blue light radiating from devices like iPads disrupts our circadian pacemakers.

In turn, this has an adverse impact on the release of melatonin, the chemical regulating sleep.

Sleep is crucial to your overall health and functionality.

Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to a number of problems, including heart disease.

In other words, if you're having trouble sleeping, put down your smartphone and pick up a book. It could save your life.