BOFFINS (yes them again) have claimed that the current craze for "night modes" could be worse for our sleep than regular displays.
The current obsession with dark modes, for example, has infected everyone from Google to GitHub - all with an argument of less eyestrain and fatigue.
But the real problem comes from settings that change the hue of the screen to block out blue light.
A new study from the University of Manchester found that all the advice we've been given is hokum - and we should be using cooler hues and dimmer screens during the hours of the night, and the warmer colours, more associated with night settings, are actually better during the day, with the brightness jacked up.
The study on mice found that the cool colours actually signals to the brain that it's twilight and time to start getting ready for bed. That's because the melanopsin in our systems is triggered by the light on our phones, under the assumption that's the colour and brightness of the sky.
"We show the common view that blue light has the strongest effect on the clock is misguided; in fact, the blue colours that are associated with twilight have a weaker effect than white or yellow light of equivalent brightness," explained Dr Tim Brown, who headed up the study.
Although mouse eyes aren't identical to ours, there's enough crossover to assume that the findings will apply to humans too.
Dr Brown hopes that the information will educate people into getting the right lighting into their homes and offices to maximise productivity and to stop assuming that blue light is all bad - in fact, it could be your friend.
Many operating systems include a night mode now - not least of all Windows 10, and it'll be interesting to see if any of them adjust their offering in the light (arf) of Dr Brown's findings. μ
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