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Apr 27, 2021
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Smartphone blue light filter turned out to be useless

What is blue light accused of and how is it dealt with?

The blue light emitted by the displays of various electronic devices has become the subject of much research in recent years. A number of scientists believe that he is able to significantly disrupt sleep, “knock down” circadian rhythms (sleep and wakefulness).

Scientists offer the following physiological explanation for the effect of blue. Melanopsin, a photopigment synthesized by the cells of the retina, readily absorbs radiation with this wavelength. The production of this protein plays an important role in the regulation of circadian rhythms. Under the influence of blue light, melanopsin should be more actively produced and make it difficult to fall asleep.

Smartphone and tablet manufacturers have developed a special night mode for these devices. It provides for a significant reduction in blue radiation from device screens. Samsung, for example, calls this Blue Light Filter. In a new study, American scientists tested the effectiveness of such regimens.

The filter did not help you fall asleep

The study, which lasted seven nights, involved 167 young people. They were divided into three groups. Participants in the first group used an iPhone with Night Shift mode before going to bed, the second used the same phone without a filter, and people in the third group did not use a smartphone at all before going to bed.

The researchers monitored the sleep characteristics of the study participants using wearable technologies. They measured the duration of falling asleep, the duration of sleep, the frequency of awakenings.

“There was no difference between the three groups in our sample,” said Dr. Chad Jensen of Brigham Young University, co-author of the study.

Analyzing the data, the scientists identified two groups of study participants – those who slept more or less than seven hours during the night. In the second group (among people who do not get enough sleep), there was also no difference in sleep rates for different modes of smartphone use. Among people who get enough sleep, scientists have found slightly better sleep parameters in those who did not use the phone when going to bed.

Jensen believes the study suggests that the blue light from smartphones has little or no role in how people sleep. He suggests that sleep disorders can develop in relation to the psychological engagement of smartphone users.

In 2019, another study already indicated that blue light filters may not be helpful. Then the scientists suggested that even when the filters are active, yellow light can affect the activity of melanopsin and create the effect of daytime.


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