Cyan colour hidden ingredient in sleep
The colour cyan- between green and blue- is a concealed factor in encouraging or avoiding sleep, according to biologists.
University of Manchester researchers say higher levels of cyan keep people awake, while reducing cyan is associated with helping sleep.
The impact was felt even if colouring 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 colours and sleep– with blue sun 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 mitigate the damage to sleep .
But the research by biologists at the University of Manchester and in Basel in Switzerland, published in the periodical Sleep, has shown the specific impact of the colouring 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 colours, as the body reacted to the change even if it was not visible to the naked eye.
He said this could also affect other colourings which were constructed utilizing cyan.
For instance, there are tints of green that can include cyan- which also can be achieved using other colour combinations.
The researchers suggest that versions of the colour using cyan could be used on computer screens if the aim was to keep people awake- such as people running and required to stay alert at night.
Or there could be another version, the same colour but without cyan, which could be used if the aim was reduce disruption to sleep .
The research use this with a movie- with the colourings being adapted to include or omit cyan- and discovered changes in viewers’ sleepiness and high levels of melatonin in saliva.
The research squad, headed by Prof Lucas and Dr Annette Allen, says there could be applications for this discovery on computer screens, televisions and smartphones.
” This outcome is arousing because it that am saying that governing exposure to cyan light alone, without changing colouring, can influence how sleepy we feel ,” said Prof Lucas .
He said it might help families with teenagers who were employing mobile phones at night-time.