Sky’s brilliant hues may help bodies keep time


Our bodies’ internal clocks may interpret twilight’s bluish hue as a signal to get some rest.

Luis Medina/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Our circadian clocks may keep time with the help of the sky’s brilliant colors. Nerve cells associated with internal clocks in mice appear to be more sensitive to changes in yellows and blues than to changes in the brightness of their environment, researchers report online April 17 in PLOS Biology.

Humans’ circadian clocks may work in a similar way. Manipulating the human clock with colored light could help shift workers and jet-setters keep better time with their bodies, the scientists suggest.


Ashley Yeager is the associate news editor at Science News. She has worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory, and was the web producer for Science News from 2013 to 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

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