These days, it is customary for people to take mobile devices into the bedroom when turning in. They may check their social media, chat to friends or even watch a movie or tv show on their phone. The consensus is artificial light stops you getting to sleep at night. It is felt the blue glare keeps you awake. However, a study has reportedly cast doubt on this assumption, suggesting the issue may not lie with the shade of the light, but the type.
According to researchers at Manchester University, it might not be the blue of the light disrupting your rest, but its warmth and brightness. In the course of their experiments, they showed a variety of light settings to laboratory mice, to see how they reacted.
Although the study, which published its results in the Current Biology journal, has not been without criticism. It was designed to explore the long-held belief artificial blue light can affect a person’s sleeping pattern.
So, researchers decided to expose their mice/ guinea pigs to different colours, switching from blue to yellow. They also altered the brightness from a high to low register. Scientists noticed that, when both the blue and yellow were bright, the subjects were stimulated, instead of feeling restful. Just as they had anticipated.
However, when researchers turned the brightness down, the mice were more restful under blue light, compared to yellow, which they claim truly reflects what happens in nature.
During the day, the light is comparatively white or yellow coloured, which is better for staying awake. However, when the sun goes down, it becomes increasingly blue, going on dark, which, going by the findings, is more conducive for sleep.
But, ironically enough, devices like laptops and mobile phones are fitted with night-mode settings to diminish blue light, to negate sleep disruption. Although, the researchers conducting the survey claim this may have the opposite effect than intended.
The findings of the research may be debatable in some circles, but they do pose an interesting question, which may make people look at the notion of mobile screens affecting sleep patterns in a different light.