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The Science Behind the Sleep-Screen Connection

The Science Behind the Sleep-Screen Connection

Are you guilty of scrolling through your phone before bedtime despite knowing the common advice to avoid screens for better sleep? You’re not alone. In the YouTube video titled “The Science Behind the Sleep-Screen Connection”, sleep researcher Rohan Nagare delves into the impact of artificial light, specifically the blue light emitted by our devices, on our sleep patterns. But is there a way to mitigate this effect and still use our phones at night? Let’s explore the fascinating relationship between light exposure, melatonin production, and our sleep cycles in this eye-opening discussion.

The Importance of Melatonin in Regulating Sleep

The Importance of Melatonin in Regulating Sleep
If you’ve heard anything about sleep science, it’s probably that you’re not supposed to use any screens before bed. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably ignored that advice. Because, Come on. Even sleep experts can’t resist. Do you use your phone before bed? Yes, just to catch up on my calendar and email. It’s always less than 30 minutes for me. That’s Rohan Nagare, a sleep researcher who’s coauthored several papers on the topic. As a chronic screen before bed guy myself, I went into our conversation wanting to know if there is any way that we could keep using our phones at night without completely wrecking our sleep schedules. Turns out science suggests. Our sleep schedule is way more malleable than we might think. Before we dive into the science, let’s first get a quick review on how our body responds to natural light like the sun, and the lack thereof. You’ve probably noticed that at night you naturally start feeling sleepy. This is because your body produces melatonin, a hormone that plays a huge role in sleep. Melatonin is not just, any other hormone. It’s kind of an internal timekeeper. As the sun rises and you get exposed to its bright light, your body suppresses the production of melatonin, helping you feel awake and alert. But sun exposure isn’t the only factor here. The color temperature of light also changes throughout the day. Daylight exists at roughly 5600 Kelvin, which leans quite blue. A sunset leans much warmer in the 3000 Kelvin range. This natural color shift, combined with the decreasing brightness, tells our body to kickstart the production of melatonin, which makes us feel sleepy. Natural light makes things simple on our bodies. But once you start adding artificial light into the mix, things get a little more complicated. Especially when we’re staring at these all night. Phone screens at their baseline have a color temperature of 5600 Kelvin, or daylight. So when you hear that using your phone before bed is bad for you, this is the commonly cited reason as to why. The phone’s artificial daylight, aka blue light, suppresses the production of melatonin, disrupting our feelings of sleepiness. Now, you might be wondering, don’t phones. Have a built-in feature that’s intended to counteract this blue light? They do. It’s called night mode or night shift. But does it actually work? Well, In 2019, Rohan coauthored a study that tried to answer that question. It’s a very smart feature, The idea is right, they’re trying to manipulate. A lighting characteristic, which is the spectrum, to reduce the circadian effectiveness. The study looked at two modes of warm shift high CCT which meant that the screen colors were intensely shifted to the warmer end of the spectrum and low CCT which meant that there was only a slight warm shift. Both modes suppressed melatonin, the sleepy hormone.

The Impact of Artificial Light on Melatonin Production

The Impact of Artificial Light on Melatonin Production
Artificial light has a significant impact on melatonin production, a hormone crucial for regulating sleep. Natural light cues our bodies to produce melatonin, which helps us feel sleepy when the sun sets. However, artificial light, such as the blue light emitted from phone screens, can disrupt this process. The color temperature of light, such as the 5600 Kelvin daylight emitted from phones, suppresses melatonin production, making it harder for us to feel sleepy. While features like night mode on phones attempt to counteract this effect, studies have shown that even with warmer color shifts, melatonin production can still be suppressed. So, next time you reach for your phone before bed, consider the impact it may have on your sleep schedule.

Effectiveness of Night Mode on Phones in Improving Sleep Quality

Effectiveness of Night Mode on Phones in Improving Sleep Quality
Recent studies have shown that the color temperature of light can have a significant impact on our sleep quality. Natural light, like the sun, influences the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating our sleep-wake cycle. However, artificial light, especially the blue light emitted by phone screens, can disrupt this process and make it harder for us to feel sleepy at night. This is where night mode comes in. Night mode, or night shift, is a feature on phones that adjusts the screen colors to a warmer spectrum, reducing the amount of blue light emitted. While the effectiveness of night mode in improving sleep quality is still being debated, studies have shown that this feature can help to reduce the circadian disruption caused by artificial light exposure before bed. So, next time you’re scrolling through your phone before hitting the hay, consider switching on night mode to potentially improve your sleep quality.

The Way Forward

the science behind the sleep-screen connection is fascinating and complex. Our bodies naturally respond to light, including the artificial light emitted by our phone screens. While using screens before bed can disrupt our sleep schedules due to the suppression of melatonin, there are ways to mitigate this effect, such as using night mode or night shift features. It’s important to understand how our bodies interact with light and technology in order to prioritize our sleep health. So next time you reach for your phone before bed, consider the impact it may have on your sleep and try to find a balance that works for you. Sweet dreams!

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Rachel Johnson

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Rachel Johnson is a seasoned writer and the creative mind behind ruihub.com. With a passion for exploring diverse topics ranging from technology to lifestyle, Rachel brings a unique perspective to her writing. Her insightful analysis and engaging storytelling captivate readers, making ruihub.com a go-to destination for thought-provoking content. Rachel's dedication to delivering accurate information combined with her knack for crafting compelling narratives make her a trusted authority in the online sphere. Through her work on ruihub.com, Rachel aims to inform, entertain, and inspire readers around the world.

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