Using ‘night mode’ on a smartphone might not improve your sleep after all

The tech industry is under the impression that the blue light from screens disrupts our sleep cycles. See: Night Shift, the five-year-old Apple function that adjusts screen colors to warmer hues in the evening, and various Dark or Night modes on Androids.

One problem: A new study finds that Night Shift has no impact on sleep.

Researchers at Brigham Young University asked 167 adults, ages 18-24, to stay in bed for at least eight hours per night after evening use of either their smartphone with Night Shift, their smartphone without Night Shift, or no phone use at all. “There were no differences across the three groups,” says coauthor Chad Jensen, an associate professor of psychology at Brigham Young University. “Night Shift is not superior to using your phone without Night Shift, or even using no phone at all.”

The researchers used wrist accelerometers to measure sleep duration, sleep quality, awakenings and time to fall asleep. Their finding suggests that blue light by itself is not impacting sleep.


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