Washington: How often have you laid in bed scrolling through news stories, social media or responding to a text? After staring at the screen, have you ever found that it is harder to fall asleep? It’s widely believed that the emitted blue light from phones disrupts melatonin secretion and sleep cycles.
A new study from Brigham Young University (BYU) published in the journal Sleep Health, challenges the premise made by phone manufacturers and found that the Night Shift functionality does not actually improve sleep.
To test the theory, BYU psychology professor Chad Jensen and researchers from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center compared the sleep outcomes of individuals in three categories: those who used their phone at night with the Night Shift function turned on, those who used their phone at night without Night Shift and those who did not use a smartphone before bed at all.
The measured sleep outcomes included total sleep duration, sleep quality, wake after sleep onset and the time it took to fall asleep.
After not finding significant differences in sleep outcomes across the three categories, the researchers split the sample into two separate groups: one which averaged about seven hours of sleep and another that slept less than six hours each night.
The group that got seven hours of sleep, which is closer to the recommended eight to nine hours a night, saw a slight difference in sleep quality based on phone usage. The individuals who did not use a phone before bed experienced superior sleep quality relative to both those with normal phone use and those using Night Shift.