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Apple Store / Apple news / Scientists have found that night mode in smartphones does not help you fall asleep faster
18 May 2021

Scientists have found that night mode in smartphones does not help you fall asleep faster

Scientists have come to a verdict: smartphone night mode does not promote falling asleep - on the contrary, it can worsen the quality of sleep

Volodymyr Poliarush

Experts managed to prove that night mode in smartphones is not able to speed up the process of falling asleep. The once widespread information that by activating this function in a modern phone, a person will be able to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly, in fact, turned out to be nothing more than a marketing ploy.

How scientists came to the conclusion about the uselessness and even a certain danger of night mode in a smartphone, and what has been established as a result of research, this article will tell curious readers.

Smartphone night mode: a bit of history

An innovation in the form of a night mode for touchscreen phones, called Night Shift, was proposed by the developers of the corresponding mobile gadgets in 2017.

The effect of this format is as follows: as a result of activating this function after sunset, the device screen automatically changes the tint range of the glow: blocking the standard blue background, the display begins to emit "warm" yellow light of lower intensity. The introduction of a special filtering system helped the gadgets achieve such an opportunity.

At that time, manufacturers of iPhone and MacBook modifications upgraded in this way positioned such a solution as beneficial to health. Electronics manufacturers have stated the following:

  • Night Shift does not have a harmful effect on the organs of vision - the user's eyes do not get tired or strained;
  • it shortens the time to fall asleep - a person will be able to fall asleep more quickly;
  • improves the quality of sleep - this is an effective way to get rid of insomnia;
  • has a beneficial effect on the nervous system - soothes and reduces the likelihood of nightmares.

Loud advertising turned out to be very effective - the innovation burst into the market with triumph and created a real sensation. However, soon after the pretentious presentation of the night mode, the owners of the phones began to notice that the "trick", to put it mildly, did not work. This is evidenced by the multiple reviews that have appeared on social networks, forums and sites that sell, advertise and release smartphones.

The first doubts of scientists: about the research of specialists from the University of Manchester

A couple of years after the announcement of the Night Shift format, employees of such a famous university in England as the University of Manchester began to doubt its effectiveness.

The result of the research work carried out showed that the yellow night glow, on the contrary, interferes with normal falling asleep. With it, the owners of smartphones fall asleep worse than with the standard operating mode of the gadget.

The Manchester researchers, who conducted a series of experiments on mice, substantiated their arguments from a scientific point of view. It was found that the level of sensitivity of the eyes to yellow is higher than to other shades - and this proves the opposite, irritating effect of the night mode on the organs of vision.

The phone display itself cannot help falling asleep - a bright glowing screen distracts a person, drawing attention to itself. The glow of the gadget sends impulses to the human brain. These signals dictate to the user's nervous system that it is time to be awake, not asleep.

Experts advised to give up using the phone in bed - without it, there really is a chance to speed up falling asleep.

Recent research work - the conclusion about the uselessness of Night Shift has been confirmed

To finally make sure that the night mode of smartphones does not help to fall asleep faster, another group of scientists decided to conduct a special study this year. Brigham Young University (BYU) worked with ophthalmologists at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

In the course of the study, specialists recruited 167 participants. A desire to voluntarily participate in this scientific experiment was expressed by 167 young people from 18 to 24 years old.

The overwhelming majority of them were female (there were 48 boys and 119 girls).

The participants in the experiment were divided into three subgroups:

  • representatives of the first group used the gadget at night with Night Shift activated;
  • members of the second group also slept with smartphones, but without turning on the night mode;
  • the third group did not use the telephone at all on the eve of falling asleep.

The first condition of the experiment was that a person was in bed at night for at least 8 hours. The second is wearing accelerometers (devices that determine the duration of sleep, its quality and the length of time it took a person to fall asleep).

The result of the corresponding research work showed that the nature of sleep and the period of falling asleep in the participants of the first two groups is approximately the same: activation of the sleep mode does not affect these processes - there is no difference.

But the representatives of the third group, who did not use the gadget before going to bed, managed to get enough sleep better than the rest of the participants in the experiment. Hence the conclusion that if a person wants to fall asleep faster and enjoy a sound sleep that fully restores strength, it is worth giving up entertainment with smartphones for the coming sleep. And it does not matter which mode the mobile phone will have - normal or night mode.

Along with this conclusion, scientists came to another important conclusion - how much a smartphone will prevent a person from falling asleep and deeply sleep depends not on the device mode, but on the nature of the information that the beloved gadget provides to its owner before going to bed.

If communication with a mobile device in bed has become a habit of the user, experts strongly recommend that he refrain from watching horror films or action films at night, news and videos that evoke strong emotions. Reading texts, viewing publications and scrolling will also have a negative impact. The best option is to give preference, for example, to calm music for relaxation.

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