Instead of helping, dark application modes can hurt us

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This is what the latest research suggests.

It can be said that all kinds of dark modes, also called night modes, are now "hot". Whenever such a theme appears in a program, application or website, the whole Internet seems to enjoy it enormously. And no wonder. It is universal belief that these modes are simply good for us – especially from the perspective of human circadian rhythm. However, it turns out that this belief may be wrong. Therefore, just like everything that was once "hot", Dark modes may fade into time.

The fact that dark modes, offering yellow or sepia screen filters to eliminate the influence of blue light on our eyes, are helpful to us, they doubt the latest research conducted at the University of Manchester. They suggest that this colder, lower brightness light may actually affect our circadian rhythm better when we deal with it in the evening and at night than yellow light.

Dark themes in applications can actually interfere with our circadian rhythmbecause they make the light emitted by the screens of smartphones or computers more like daylight and sunlight than night light – the moon and stars.

"We deny the popular view that blue light has the strongest effect on the circadian clock. In fact, blue light, associated with dusk, produces less effects than white or yellow light with the same brightness. ", said one researcher, Dr. Tim Brown.

Researchers at the University of Manchester conducted their study with mice. Within them, special lamps were used, which allowed the light color to change without changing its brightness. Experiments have shown that blue light has less effect on the circadian rhythm of mice than equally bright yellow light.

darkness smartphone

But how does the daily cycle work in mice or humans? Well, in our eyes, in addition to rods and suppositories that allow us to see, there are specific photosensitive cells that are crucial for the functioning of this cycle. When light reaches these cells, they produce a molecule called melanopsin. In short, it tells some parts of our brain that they can't fall asleep.

Melanopsin is more sensitive to light at shorter wavelengths, such as blue light. Scientists say that's why earlier it has been incorrectly suggested that blue light negatively affects the circadian rhythm. However, suppositories are responsible for how we perceive colors, and new studies show that the signals they provide regarding blue light reduce the effect of this light on the circadian clock.

"There is a great deal of interest in changing the effect of light on the [circadian] clock by regulating the brightness of signals detected by melanopsin, but is now approached by changing the ratio of long-wave light to short-wave light. This ensures a small difference in brightness and at the same time noticeable changes in color. ", said Brown. "However, this approach is not good in our opinion, since these changes in color may offset any benefits resulting from a decrease in the brightness of signals detected by melanopsin.", added. "Our findings suggest that exposure to darker, colder evening light and brighter, warmer light for dishes may be more beneficial."

Of course, since the research was conducted on mice, they should be approached with appropriate distance. The scientists themselves believe that there is evidence that the effect they discover is also taking place in humans, but until they repeat their study with humans, we cannot be sure that the perceived color of light has a significant impact on our circadian clock. So maybe you don't have to give up the dark modes and the blue light filtering glasses yet.

Source: University of Manchester