Contrary to common belief, blue light may not be as disruptive to our sleep patterns as originally thought — according to new British research.
According to the team from University of Manchester, using dim, cooler, lights in the evening and bright warmer lights in the day may be more beneficial to our health.
Twilight is both dimmer and bluer than daylight, they say, and the body clock uses both of those features to determine the appropriate times to be asleep and awake.
Current technologies designed to limit our evening exposure to blue light, for example by changing the screen color on mobile devices, may therefore send us mixed messages, they argue.
This is because the small changes in brightness they produce are accompanied by colors that more resemble day.
The research, which was carried out on mice, used specially designed lighting that allowed the team to adjust color without changing brightness.
That showed blue colors produced weaker effects on the mouse body clock than equally bright yellow colors.
The findings, say the team, have important implications for the design of lighting and visual displays intended to ensure healthy patterns of sleep and alertness.