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Scientists find that your phone's 'night mode' may actually be keeping you awake

Apple Night Shift
(Image credit: Apple)

Scientists have found that blue light may not be as disruptive to our sleep patterns as once thought. 

An experiment lead by Dr Tim Brown has found that blue light does not disrupt sleep, as formerly thought. In fact, yellow light is actually worse. 

This means that recent Android and iOS updates, which have switched the color tone of your device’s screen from cool blue light to warm yellow light, may well have been hindering your sleep pattern.

It was formerly believed that the cooler blue light of your phone or other devices may keep you awake into the night, whereas less harsh warm light would lull you into a restful state. However, this study has found that the cooler tones of your phone screen in the evening sends your body the message that it's twilight, meaning it's time to sleep. By contrast, the warm tones of night-mode settings actually make our bodies think it's day time. 

So, what do I do now?

Dr Tim Brown says that "blue colors that are associated with twilight have a weaker effect than white or yellow light of equivalent brightness.

“Our findings suggest that using dim, cooler, lights in the evening and bright warmer lights in the day may be more beneficial.

“Research has already provided evidence that aligning our body clocks with our social and work schedules can be good for our health. Using color appropriately could be a way to help us better achieve that.”

The best way to stop your phone intervening in your sleep pattern is to switch it off altogether. However, if you simply must send one last text before switching off, leave your night-mode alone and embrace the blue hues.