According to researchers from the University of Manchester, your phone's 'yellow-tinted' night mode might be screwing up your sleeping pattern more than the blue light-tinted normal mode it was at least in part attempting to remedy. These researchers' conclusion, which was published in the newest Current Biology, is based on their theory that your body clock associates dimmer, cooler-colored lights with twilight to decide when it's finally time to fall asleep. Conversely it does the opposite with brighter colors.
By testing on mice, researchers found that sleep patterns are less disrupted with phones that use blue color displays as opposed to ones using bright yellow colors.
"Technologies designed to limit our evening exposure to blue light, for example by changing the screen color on mobile devices, may therefore send us mixed messages," researchers said on Monday. "This is because the small changes in brightness they produce are accompanied by colors that more resemble day."
Dark mode apps, websites, and services have become popular as they intend to combat eye and battery strain with their inverted color schemes. Blue light was previously believed to disrupt sleep patterns. Dr. Tim Brown, who led this latest study, said that there was a valid scientific basis for that.
“There was definitely a valid scientific idea about why those [night modes] would work,” Brown said.
About 20 years ago the role that melanopsin served in regulating your body's clock was discovered. Melanopsin, for those not drilling to win the national spelling bee, is a light-sensitive protein in your eye.
“The melanopsin system is fundamentally there to detect brightness,” Brown added. He further says that melanopsin was thought to favor blue light because it could better detect short-wavelength protons.
“The cone system also plays a role, and they’re doing the opposite of what most people thought,” Brown stated.
This is all a fancy way of saying that switching to night mode might be keeping you up. Anyway, speaking of putting people to sleep, in addition to those last three paragraphs you can read more here or order the latest Current Biology journal.