Researchers Suggest Smartphones Should Include A 'Bedtime Mode'

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It is no secret that smartphones are becoming a necessity for many people. In fact, it is quite likely that anyone reading this is dependent on their smartphone to some degree. The level of smartphone-dependency will of course, depend highly on how heavily invested your life is with your smartphone. For instance, whether you bank via an app, do your shopping online and through your phone, use apps to track your health, fitness or even your pet’s habits. The list is pretty much endless to how entwined your life can be with a smartphone.

Well, a new study which was published last month in Frontiers in Public Health and by UK based researchers Gringras, Middleton, Skene & Revell, from the Department of Children’s Sleep Medicine at King’s College London and the University of Surrey have found that smartphone design might be a leading contributor to the quality of the sleep we encounter. More specifically, our sleep might also be highly dependent on our smartphones too. The study focuses on the lights which are emitted by smartphones and in particular, the “brighter and bluer” lights which are omitted and essentially keep users awake for longer before falling asleep. According to the research, the levels of light and color are more likely to suppresses melatonin, increases alertness and therefore, prove the most disruptive to an individual’s ability to drift off naturally.

The study made use of various mobile products (defined as “light emitting devices”) and the goal was to measure their spectral power over two conditions. The first, when displaying text and the second, when running the Angry Birds app. As well as the control group (users under normal circumstances), there was also a couple of experimental groups – one who were provided with orange-tinted glasses which acted as a way to eradicate the bluer and brighter color and one who used an app to achieve the same results. The results of the study led the researchers to conclude a number of points. Firstly, software design should be “better optimized” for use during the night and secondly, hardware manufacturers should include a “bedtime mode” which automatically turns on and changes the problematic “blue and green light emissions to yellow and red“. Those interested, can read the report in full, including the findings by heading through the source link below.