Almost every smartphone nowadays comes with a 'night mode', where the overall colour spectrum of your smartphone display is shifted to warmer hues in the evening. This became standard practice in order to protect your eyes from the harsh, incident blue light coming from your phone screens. This 'colder' light was said to be harmful, since it reportedly strained eyes in the late hours of the day, and also caused a disruption in sleep cycles. Now, a research study by Dr. Tim Brown from the University of Manchester completely debunks this theory and states that on the contrary, night mode is actually making you stay up for much longer than you typically would.
The study in question examines the role that the cone cells and melanopsin, a photosensitive element found in the human eye, play in regulating the biological clock of the human body. According to the research study, it was found that incident brightness around an individual has a bigger impact on regulating the sleep cycle. However, at the same level of comparative brightness, the colour blue is registered closer to the colours of twilight, and as such, is found to be more relaxing than the warm hues that a smartphone's night mode produces.
Earlier, the notion was that warm lights lead to lesser eye strain and creates a more relaxing atmosphere, but according to Brown's research, warmer hues are associated more closely with daytime by the human body. As a result, such colours are related more closely to the waking hours of the day. This suggests that in place of helping individuals fall asleep, night modes are actually causing them to stay up longer, or at times, even lose sleep.
While ambient colour tone displays may make the smartphone screen look more pleasant, it does not appear to be the brightest idea, particularly considering how individuals across the world are already struggling with smartphone addiction and iregular sleep cycles. Dr Brown's study has been published in the Current Biology journal, and seeing how this addresses a particularly important part of digital wellbeing, it will be interesting to see how companies across the world react to this new finding.