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Apple's Night Shift May Have Zero Effect On Sleep (macworld.com) 79

eggboard writes: While blue light emitted by monitors and mobile displays has been widely cited as a cause in disrupting people's circadian rhythm, the evidence is thin: a narrow range of blue spectra might not be the problem (it may be a more complicated interaction), brightness may be more important, and Night Shift's (and f.lux's) effects are probably too negligible anyway. Apple's Night Shift feature lets you adjust the color temperature of your display to the warmer end of the spectrum. Apple notes, "Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep."
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Apple's Night Shift May Have Zero Effect On Sleep

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  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @08:11PM (#51779643)
    "You're in heap of trouble, boy."
    • For packing 6500K of heat.

      They gon' go full Clockwork Orange on you back at the station, strapping you down while you're forced to watch a wall full of the worst and warmest.

  • Duly noted. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday March 25, 2016 @08:15PM (#51779659) Homepage Journal
    Even if it doesn't, I very much love the aesthetics of the warm display at night. I think it's less jarring going from looking around a warmly-lit room to a reddened display, and whenever I turn f.lux or Night Shift off it's like I'm suddenly staring into the sun.

    If it helps my sleep, cool. If it doesn't, I still like it.

    • Re:Duly noted. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fiver-hoo ( 12326 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @08:32PM (#51779753)

      Yep. Same here. If it happens to improve my sleep, it's merely a bonus. I've never cared. It is simply much more pleasant to use a display with a warmer color temperature in the evening.

      • Agreed but I like it only one notch above 'off'. The warm glow is just as jarring than a blue one. First two nights I had it on, I stayed up way too late reading crap online - makes me wonder whether the soothing aspect of it makes it easier to keep reading. D'oh
        • i manually set "redshift -O 3500" and lower brightness on my chromebook and i am happy with that setting. i noticed that flux goes as low as 1900. that setting just confuses me and i can't concentrate on reading anymore. maybe if i were a martian, that tint would seem natural but i'm not so it doesn't.

          • i manually set "redshift -O 3500" and lower brightness on my chromebook and i am happy with that setting. i noticed that flux goes as low as 1900.

            I installed f.lux on my Mac one evening, and that 1900K just about made my eyes bleed. It was actively uncomfortable - I just couldn't get past it. Now I've got it manually set to 2900K as the minimum, which still took some getting used to but now definitely is easier on my eyes at night.

          • It all depends what your room is lit with. Different sources of light have different colour temperatures. What seems too red in your room may be just fine in someone else's.

        • The warm glow is just as jarring than a blue one. First two nights I had it on, I stayed up way too late reading crap online

          Same here. First two nights I had it on I stayed up reading crap online. Changed it to yellow, and stayed up reading crap online. Changed it to purple, and stayed up reading crap online. Changed it to green and stayed up reading crap online.

          Fucken' Slashdot...

      • Reminds me of the arguments we had about green vs. amber vs. white monitors back in the 1980s.

        Yeah, our screen tech was so bad back then our displays only had one color. Now get off my lawn.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I wish you could buy lighting that does this in the west. In Japan it's not uncommon to have an "evening mode" where you switch to a warmer shade (by remote control). Sometimes they have a dedicated daylight work light mode too.

        Sadly all we get in the west are those stupid Philips Hue bulbs that change to a variety of pointless colours.

    • Not only that, I've never measured it but I believe that the overall brightness is cut since it lowers the blue channel without boosting the reds. If brightness is what is important it still helps.
    • http://jonls.dk/redshift/ [jonls.dk] is a open-source alternative

    • I don't know if it's a side effect of doing photography for a while or what, but I absolutely cannot stand a massive color cast across a whole display. Ugh.

      I have to say I really like how you can elect to manually turn it on for a day to try and it will turn itself off forever after... so glad they didn't turn it on by default.

    • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      Same. Another vote in favor. Even if it has no biological effect, the psychological effect is pretty significant. I've been using it on my devices for about 18 months now and never plan to go back.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sony have been doing this since 2006 on their PS3. Apple "invents" eh?

      • Sony have been doing this since 2006 on their PS3. Apple "invents" eh?

        1. Japan does seem to have realized/believed-in this effect significantly ahead of the rest of the world.

        2. I haven't seen/heard of Apple claiming to INVENT or DISCOVER anything here; just that it is a feature they added to iOS 9.3.

        Now go Troll somewhere else, fool.

    • by Stripe7 ( 571267 )
      If light while you sleep bothers you, tape the lights or just use a sleep mask. If believe that silly theory of light on your skin is keeping you awake use a blanket.
  • by Ricky Sokel ( 3411029 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @08:18PM (#51779669)
    Been using f.lux for a few years now; it does wonders to reduce my eye strain but I still find myself up in the late hours, regardless.
    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @08:43PM (#51779817) Journal

      Yep. f.lux is definitely a winner. And when I'm paying attention when the display changes from day to night, it reminds me that the sun has just set and allows me to pause for a second to note the passage. It reminds me that there are other things to do in life and not to lose track of time.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SNRatio ( 4430571 )
      I think f.lux just doesn't go far enough. To change your ability to fall asleep: reduce room lighting drastically and use Negativescreen or another app so that the screen is just very dim red on black or vice versa. Also: text only, wait til tomorrow for youtube, facebube, Instabube, etc. And ditch anything work related at least an hour before bed.
      • F.lux has a 'Darkroom' mode that does exactly that.

        (Note: if you're using the Windows version, you'll have to enable 'Expand Color Range' first.)

      • by Jamlad ( 3436419 )
        f.lux does support Philips Hue lighting and will adjust the room color in conjunction with your display. Except if you're running the OSX version.
        • f.lux does support Philips Hue lighting and will adjust the room color in conjunction with your display. Except if you're running the OSX version.

          Why not in OS X?

          • by Jamlad ( 3436419 )

            Why not in OS X?

            Dunno. From what I read in forums the developer has been promising it for at least a year.

  • Certainly the issue is more complicated than just blue light, but I've noticed at night it doesn't seem to be as painful to look at in the dark for longer periods (using the same brightness). It may just be a placebo - but I think it at least helps.
  • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @08:40PM (#51779801)
    I have a friend who has to use light therapy every day. She can't view any screen for an hour or so before she goes to sleep. When she gets up in the morning she uses a blue enhanced light. She also has a lamp with a therapeutic spectrum at work. If she doesn't take these precautions then she has sleep problems and that causes migraine headaches. This is a real big deal for her.

    I can easily see how this could be of use to some users. These problems are idiosyncratic, so it varies between individuals. Making a blanket statement that it of no use is basically willful ignorance. It makes a quick headline, and helps no one in the long run.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Many workplaces have this so called "warm white" light, which is to reflect incandescent light, not daylight.

      If the fluorescent lights were to be replaced with "daylight white" light instead then the natural cycle would be improved, especially in the winter. It's a long term test that has to be done so it's hard to see any immediate result from such a change.

  • Works for me... Zzz...
  • ...blue light does disrupt sleep, filtering the light from one source probably won't make enough of a difference. We need to filter blue light from all sources, so unless all your energy-saving lightbulbs filter out blue light too, one screen isn't going to make a whole lotta difference. Try UV blocking safety goggles (the orange type, not the yellow type) and see if that helps.

  • by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @09:41PM (#51780107)

    Contrast ratios are too high when reading in bed. Warmer light is perceived as less bright, reducing apparent contrast.

    I am happy they have it now, rather than making white backgrounds gray as an alternate.

  • seems to help me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by epine ( 68316 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @09:48PM (#51780133)

    I'm pretty sure redshift (which I'm running under PC-BSD) assists in managing my sleep disorder. I have three 24" displays. It's a lot of light. The last time redshift was inadvertently disabled, at some point in my evening work session I looked at the clock and went "holy shit, it's past midnight!" This does not comply with my sleep program.

    My disorder is N24. After many years of personal study, I have fairly high confidence that while it is supposed to help, blue light in the morning influences me very little, if at all (I have a professional treatment box). Blue light at bedtime does, however, seem to make things worse.

    What did cure my disorder was 0.75 milligrams of sustained-release melatonin roughly six hours before bedtime.

    Before I tried SR melatonin, over several years of experimenting with non-SR melatonin I only ever managed to reduce my 25.5 hour circadian day to 24.25 hours. Drifting 15 minutes a day doesn't sound like much, but it's substantially less desirable than the full cure.

    Apparently many people don't get groggy after taking melatonin mid-day. It happens to hit me pretty hard.

    Recently I read a paper about how melatonin increases circulation to the hands and feet without increasing core metabolism, with the net effect that core body temperature declines (apparently, enhanced vascularization of the nail beds makes them efficient radiators). Since I started wearing warmer clothing after my daily melatonin dose, my early evening grogginess has declined by about 2/3rds. It doesn't hurt either to throw in some "orthostatic challenge". This was how the stuffy research paper described "standing up and walking around".

    Given how blue light works, there's not much point shielding yourself from one source if you end up getting exposed to another source. The reading lamp in my bedroom is a yellow bug lamp. Added bonus: it's extremely slow to warm up, so it's a great lamp to turn on for a few seconds in the middle of the night, if my back pain treatment arsenal rolls out of reach under the bed.

    • An interesting thing to note about melatonin is that it has a phase response curve. Its effect on sleep depends on where you are in your circadian rhythm.
  • Is if you have a dark, quiet environment to sleep during the daytime

    and you stay on night shift, none of this rotating shifts crap
    I gotta get ready for work

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @01:17AM (#51780765)
    So does that mean that Red Shift is going away?
  • So many other sources of blue light, it won't help unless you're a teenager with your nose glued to the damn thing.

    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      So many other sources of blue light, it won't help unless you're a teenager with your nose glued to the damn thing.

      It's intended for use at night, e.g. for those who tend to read their iWhatever while in bed. In that case it will likely be the only source of light in the room.

  • While blue light emitted by monitors and mobile displays has been widely cited as a cause in disrupting people's circadian rhythm, the evidence is thin

    and

    Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep

    I know the two quotes come from different people (the submitter and "Apple", respectively), but putting them both in the summary without further comment seems odd. Which one is true, then?

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Well, possibly both. There can, for example, be lots of scientific studies that have the same methodological limitations. This happens when there's lots of researchers all subsisting off modest grants, and all trying to use those grants in similarly modest, cost effective ways (e.g. using students as experimental subjects).

  • As an owner of an iPad Air and iPhone 6, the Night Shift feature of iOS 9.3 has one advantage for me: because I have to wake up when it's still dark outside (I start work at 0630 hours in the morning), turning on my iPad or iPhone on the night stand next to my bed when I wake up no longer gives me eyestrain (and sometimes a headache) with that blast of bluish-white light.

  • I appreciate what they are going for, but the brightness is still too high for me to use at night. On Android I could get an app to lower the brightness of the whole system, but all I see for iOS are dimmer browser apps of dubious origin.
  • ... and stop blaming your phone for your insomnia.

  • I used to go to bed when my eyes felt like they were burning out of their sockets. After installing f.lux, it was much easier to use the computer into the deep hours of the night that I ended up going to sleep much later.
  • Best thing I've found is 70% amber tinted glasses for looking at any screen (nearsighted anyways). I put them on when I'm looking at a screen, then switch to normal glasses around the house (with low lighting through the house).

    Anyways, melatonin is inhibited by blue light and melatonin is not nearly as correlated with sleep as the histamine system (mainly h3 receptors). Blue light inhibiting melatonin probably reduces the oxidative handling system more than it does effect sleep, as melatonin is a very stro

  • Isn't it easier to just turn off your phone when you go to bed?
  • Even with f.lux and in "night view mode", monitors are unbearably bright to night-adjusted vision.

    I discovered PangoBright [pangobright.com] when I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep one night.

    It works great, and now I always work at 30% brightness at night.
  • Just use Magnavision tinted glasses for computer use:

    http://www.amazon.com/Magnivis... [amazon.com]

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