The iPad, laptops and computers are compelling, making you stay awake longer than you normally would. But sleep researchers say their bright bluish backlights look a lot like broad daylight, and that might be fooling your body clock into thinking it's not time to sleep yet.
A CNN report mentioned an app for Macs and PCs (but unfortunately, not for iPad yet) called F. lux that aims to solve this problem. It gradually reduces the amount of blue light in your screen's backlight as dusk sets in, causing your screen to take on a weird-looking reddish tint. That's supposed to help you avoid resetting your body clock.
Does it work? It seemed to for me. I tried the app last night, and slept better than I have in weeks. I have a habit of reading my iPad before I go to sleep, but last night, I used only my laptop running F. lux, avoiding the iPad and iPhone. After a few minutes, I got accustomed to the screen's shifted hue, and spent an hour reading and browsing before bedtime. I felt a noticeable difference, ready to go to sleep earlier than usual.
This unscientific experiment lasted just one night thus far, so I'll have to study this phenomenon further. There's something compelling about a free computer application helping you snag a few extra Zs. It's worth a try!