How To Use Your iPhone To Sleep Better

Photo: Courtesy Madeline Buxton.
You probably don't need science to tell you that the blue light coming from your iPhone, iPad, or any other electronic device is bad for your sleep. Whether you've laid awake for hours after scrolling through your Instagram feed or woken up feeling extra groggy after a pre-bedtime iPad viewing of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the sleep/tech frustration is universal.

What makes that little blue light so bad? Research has shown that the exposure makes you more alert at bedtime, delays your REM sleep cycle, and suppresses melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep better.

But since studies also show that the majority of people of all ages keep their phones within reach of their beds (whether to use as an alarm clock or to check email first thing in the morning), bedtime phone use likely isn't a habit we're going to break soon. Luckily, Apple's latest operating system, iOS 9.3, attempts to provide a solution to the problem.

Night Shift is a new feature that uses your iPhone or iPad's clock and geolocation to find out when the sunset will occur where you are. It then shifts the colors in your display to warmer shades (yellows and oranges) instead of that penetrating cool-blue light. The colors automatically readjust in the morning.

To activate Night Shift, go to "Settings" and press "Display & Brightness." Tap "Night Shift" and click "Scheduled." Here, you can set the exact times you want Night Shift to start and end. Alternatively, you can press "Sunset to Sunrise" to automate the process. You can also play with the color temperature spectrum to set it as warm as you'd like.

Sweet dreams!

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