The Science Behind the Efficiency of Night Mode
Night Mode has been a part of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems for a couple of years now. The underlying concept primarily has to do with the filtration of blue light. Blue light from screens is especially notorious for reducing the Melatonin levels in the body. This results in longer times to fall asleep and lesser quality of sleep. But does night mode really help you sleep? Read on to find out.
Night mode in all phones and devices filters blue light from the screen, resulting in a warmer tone and less perceived brightness. This setting aims to minimize the effects of the blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, or in more recent software updates, your computer. It is also meant to adjust the screen to better match the surrounding light, depending on the time of day and your location.
However, according to a new Light Research Center study on the effectiveness of the Night Shift setting, your sleep may still be at risk.
The Researchers ran the test on 12 young adults to view tablets between 12 P.M. and 1 A.M. on four separate nights under different conditions. The main aim of the study was to look at the amount of melatonin suppression arising from three different Night Mode settings: Night Mode Off, Night Mode set to Less Warm or 20-40% Intensity and Night mode set to More Warm or 40-80% intensity.
Although all the conditions resulted in significantly reduced amounts of Melatonin, it was found that the Night Mode setting suppressed melatonin reduction slightly less. However, the study found no significant difference between the effectiveness of the two Night Mode settings.
The takeaway is that it’s not just the light spectrum that can affect your sleep; it’s also the brightness. The researchers recommend that you keep your device screen brightness as low as possible, and limit the use of electronic devices to one-hour sessions. Also, the paper suggests that you avoid exposure to screens at least two hours before bedtime for better sleep.
In other words, put down your device and fall asleep to a good book, some soothing jazz, or good old sheep jumping over the fence, the way mother nature intended.