News ID: 217065
Published: 0637 GMT June 22, 2018

Cyan color hidden ingredient in sleep

Cyan color hidden ingredient in sleep
The researchers said cyan could be added or taken away to prevent or encourage sleep.

The color cyan — between green and blue — is a hidden factor in encouraging or preventing sleep, according to biologists.

University of Manchester researchers said higher levels of cyan keep people awake, while reducing cyan is associated with helping sleep, wrote.

The impact was felt even if color changes were not visible to the eye.

The researchers want to produce devices for computer screens and phones that could increase or decrease cyan levels.

Sleep researchers have already established links between colors and sleep — with blue light having been identified as more likely to delay sleep.


'Night mode'


There have been ‘night mode’ settings for phones and laptops which have reduced blue light in an attempt to lessen the damage to sleep.

But the research by biologists at the University of Manchester and in Basel in Switzerland, published in the journal Sleep, has shown the particular impact of the color cyan.

When people were exposed to more or less cyan, researchers were able to measure different levels of the sleep hormone melatonin in people's saliva.

Prof. Rob Lucas said that it was not necessary for someone to be able to see the difference in colors, as the body reacted to the change even if it was not visible to the naked eye.

He said this could also affect other colors which were made using cyan.

For instance, there are shades of green that can include cyan — which also can be achieved using other color combinations.


Screening colors


The researchers suggested that versions of the color using cyan could be used on computer screens if the aim was to keep people awake —such as people working and required to stay alert at night.

Or there could be another version, the same color but without cyan, which could be used if the aim was reduce disruption to sleep.

The research used this with a movie — with the colors being adapted to include or exclude cyan — and found changes in viewers' sleepiness and levels of melatonin in saliva.

The research team, headed by Lucas and Dr. Annette Allen, said there could be applications for this discovery on computer screens, televisions and smartphones.

Lucas added, “This outcome is exciting because it that tells us that regulating exposure to cyan light alone, without changing color, can influence how sleepy we feel.”

He said it might help families with teenagers who were using mobile phones at night-time.


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