Gear

Does Apple’s Night Shift Mean we should take our iPhones to bed?

04.06.16
Night Shift

Night Shift is a new feature that rolled out with last week’s iOS update— it’s a feature that is designed to help improve your quality of sleep by reducing the amount of blue light emitted from your iPhone’s display.

What?

I’ve talked about the effects of your iPhone on sleep before, and I’m not alone— how phones mess up our melatonin release and prevent our body from winding down at night is a popular blog topic, as is the importance of sleep to nearly ever aspect of our health. I’m sure that didn’t make the folks at Apple too happy. So rather than encourage people to stop using their smartphones in bed, they just filtered out the display’s blue light, creating a warmer looking image on the screen, like your phone got an Instagram filter. Boom! Problem solved, right?

Um…

Not exactly. If you read carefully, even Apple admits that Night Shift “may” help you get a better night’s sleep. Most experts agree that Night Shift, and other color temperature tweaks like it, provides more of a placebo effect than anything else. In fact, Ray Soneira, president of DisplayMate, an industry benchmark for testing displays, has said that Night Shift offers “little more than a placebo effect”.

Plus, blue light isn’t the only thing that can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep— if you’re getting emails from your boss til the wee hours, it won’t matter if they’re yellow in hue… you’ll still have trouble drifting off. Really, if you’re not sleeping well and suspect your bleary-eyed smartphone sessions are the root cause, avoid looking at screens for at least an hour before bed, and give your body a chance to do it’s thing.

Want to see Night Shift for yourself?

Tap Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift.

night-shift-settings

To set the feature automatically at certain times of day, tap Scheduled and set the times you want it enabled and disabled. Or you can Manually Enable Until Tomorrow and it will work until morning. You can also adjust how much blue light is filtered out (the maximum setting hurt my eyes) by moving the color temperature slider to More Warm or Less Warm.

And lastly, you can quickly turn on Night Shift in the Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

night shift

Final Thoughts?

Night Shift doesn’t mean you should rekindle your bedroom affair with your devices. You get an “A” for effort, Apple. But at some point we’re going to have to walk away from your devices… our health depends on it.

Are you using Night Shift? Are you noticing a difference in your sleep? Do tell.

Author: Carley Knobloch

Carley Knobloch is a digital lifestyle expert and a regular contributor on the Today Show and CNN. She’s also a home automation expert and host for HGTV, where makes home technology easy, approachable and fun. Carley has been featured in Real Simple, Allure, and Bloomberg Businessweek. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two kids, springer spaniel, and myriad smartphones.

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