For some years now, the major phone manufacturers have been integrating so-called night mode functions so that their users can sleep better. Indeed, we have found that the blue light emitted by the devices disrupts the secretion of melatonin and thus also disrupts sleep cycles. This is particularly the case with Apple, which offered its Night Shift option in 2016, Android followed suit with a similar option, so most smartphones are now equipped with it.
To test the effectiveness of these systems, researchers from Brigham Young University in New York teamed up with scientists from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. They compared the data of people using their phones using the night mode with those who have not used this feature. A final category was people who did not use their phone at all before going to bed.
“This indicates that you will fall asleep when you are very tired.”
The surprise was great because in this sample of 167 young adults aged 18 to 24 years no difference was observed between the three groups in terms of total sleep duration, sleep quality, waking up after onset of sleep, and the time it took to fall asleep .
Says Professor Chad Jensen, “If you are very tired, no matter what you did right before bed, go to sleep. The need for sleep is so high that there really is no effect on what happens before bed. “”
The researchers clearly believe that blue light alone does not cause difficulty falling asleep or wakefulness. They suggest that factors such as psychological engagement with texting or scrolling through a post are also factors that need to be considered for sleep.
As a reminder, in December 2019, a study by researchers at the University of Manchester questioned the benefits of night modes. So these features don’t really help users fall asleep.