Today I’m going to help you sleep a little better by showing you how to use the brand new Night Shift feature found in iOS 9.3. And I’ll also discuss whether or not it seems to work — does it actually help you sleep better?
But first why don’t we nail down why blue light keeps us from sleeping in the first place! Not to get all scientific on you but basically blue light runs in the spectrum of light that signals the suprachiasmatic nucleus in your brain to stop producing melatonin — and that’s the hormone that regulates your sleep cycles.
So iOS 9.3 has some cool new features including the option to password protect the notes app and a more personalized news app but by far the coolest new feature is called Night Shift and it lets you regulate that annoying blue light in a few interesting ways.
Now on when you’re watching this video you can either grab the iOS 9.3 public beta or if it’s after Apple’s March 2016 event you can just go ahead and grab the latest software update.
So to get Night Shift working exactly how you want, you’ll want to go into Settings, Display & Brightness and then tap on Night Shift.
Here you can schedule Night Shift to automatically turn on and off when the sun sets and rises or you can also just pick certain times when you’d like reduce blue light manually.
I’m also really glad Apple included an option to turn this feature on or off whenever you feel like it thanks to the new button located in the Control Center (which you can access by swiping up from the bottom of any screen in your iPhone or iPad).
It’s also cool that you can adjust your screen’s color temperature to make it more or less warm to better suit your taste or needs.
Using Night Shift is actually a little bit weird. With the blue light gone everything on your screen basically gets more orange and it kind of makes your phone feel like it got sucked into the 70s or something. And until you get used to it it’s almost like somethings wrong with either your screen or your eyes or your brain — things just feel a little off.
So… what about the big question? Does Night Shift actually help you sleep better? While I’ve only been using this feature for a couple of nights, I’ve already noticed that using my phone right up until I go to sleep doesn’t seem to effect me like it used to.
Also, I’m one of these people that constantly gets ideas if I lay awake in bed and I can’t go to sleep until I get them written down so I can also say I was able to go right back to sleep last night after typing out a note while in Night Shift mode which was pretty cool.
I think this is going to be a really useful feature for me personally.
But while it sounds cool, I actually don’t think it makes a lot of sense to sync Night Shift with the sunset and sunrise just because I’ve heard you only need to limit blue light for 1-2 hours before you go to sleep and I’d rather not have an orange screen for any longer than is absolutely necessary.
What do you think?