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Staring at the cool glow of your phone display, known as "blue light" at night, is detrimental to your sleep pattern, isn't it? It is a common belief that nowadays phones usually have a "night mode" that sets the color of the screen to warmer tones when you go to bed. However, a new study from the University of Manchester has shown that the dreaded blue light may not interfere with your sleep – in fact, it can help you relax.
In the study published in Current Biology, special lighting was used to investigate how cool and warm light of the same brightness affected mice. As it turned out, the blue-tinted light had less of an effect on the mice than the yellow-tinted light when it came to the internal clocks or the rhythm of the day. Again both lights were equally bright.
It may sound surprising, but scientists suspect that since twilight is weaker and bluer than daylight, looking at warm tinted light at night could send mixed signals to our body. Instead, they think that using weak, cool light at night and warm, bright light during the day could help keep our bodies on track. Although most night mode settings decrease backlighting, the noticeable change in color can do more harm than good.
"We believe that this is not the best approach because the color changes can offset all the benefits of reducing the brightness signals detected by melanopsin," said study author Timothy Brown, PhD, in a press release. "Our results suggest that using dim, cooler light in the evening and bright, warmer light in the day may be more beneficial."
Basically, it may be better to do the opposite of what you've been doing since night mode started. However, this study examined how the color of light, rather than the presence of light, affected sleep.
"Research has shown that aligning our body clocks with our social and work hours can be good for our health," said Brown. "The correct use of colors could help us do this better."