Is Blue light Really to Blame For Insomnia?

A sizeable bulk of the adult population in the modern world are smartphone addicts. With this uncontrollable addiction to scrolling through social media even past bedtime came higher cases of insomnia. The theory has always been that not only does the blue light emitted by smartphones damage your eyes, it’s also responsible for the low quality of sleep experienced by smartphone users.

Using night shift

To mitigate these effects, Apple quickly created night shift for iOS devices. Android devices jumped on the bandwagon and made equivalent night modes which switch the device’s colors to warmer hues after sunset. However, up to this point, the effectiveness of these night modes has been theoretical, with no scientific study to back it.

According to researchers from BYU, however, night shift does not help your sleep. To test this, they used three groups of volunteers, all of who are smartphone users, to use their smartphones before sleeping. The first group used their smartphones with night mode on. The second one used theirs with night mode turned off, while the third group did not use their smartphones.

Chad Jensen, Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychology at BYU, explains no notable difference in the three groups’ sleeping patterns in a university release. He further comments that using the night shift before bed is the same as using your smartphone normally or not using it at all.

The researchers asked participants to spend eight hours in bed and wear accelerometers to help monitor their sleep. The participants using smartphones also had an app on their smartphones to monitor their activity in that period. The researchers evaluated other outcomes like sleep quality, length, and how long it took to fall asleep.

Using a smartphone doesn’t affect sleep length.

The results revealed that, as expected, participants who did not use a smartphone before sleeping experienced better sleep quality than both groups of smartphone users. However, when it came to length of sleep, there was no difference whether the participants used smartphones with night shift, without or did not use them at all.

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