Hunger hormone and sleep responses to the built-in blue-light filter on an electronic device: a pilot study Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2019 Brazilian Association of Sleep and Latin American Federation of Sleep Societies. All rights reserved. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of the blue-light filtering ‘Night Shift’ function on the Apple iPad at night and leptin production, perceived hunger levels and markers of sleep quality and quantity in healthy young adults. In a randomised, crossover design, 13 young adults (6 male/7 female) performed three experimental trials. Two of the interventions included one hour of night-time electronic device use; reading on an iPad ~30 cm from eyes, either with (iPad+NS) or without (iPad) the ‘Night Shift’ blue-light filtering feature turned on. The control trial involved reading a hard-copy book for one hour (CON). Leptin and perceived hunger and tiredness levels were assessed at various time points for the three experimental conditions. Objective sleep indices (actigraphy) and subjective ratings of sleep were recorded. There were no significant interactions for any of the measured variables (p > 0.05). Small to moderate effect sizes were found for perceived sleep quality, with CON (7.3 ± 1.7) having the highest value when compared to iPad+NS (6.6 ± 1.8, d = 0.29) and iPad (5.6 ± 2.3, d = 0.66). Moderate effects were associated with iPad+NS when compared to iPad (d = 0.77) and for iPad compared to CON (d = 0.90) for pre-post change in leptin concentration. Use of electronic devices at night may result in moderate suppression of leptin levels and impaired sleep quality, with negligible differences associated with whether or not the ‘Night Shift’ feature is turned on.

publication date

  • 2019