I'm already in love with Night Shift, Apple's new sleep-saving feature for the iPhone

Apple had a big day on Monday. Among other announcements, it introduced a new iPhone and a new iPad, and officially rolled out iOS 9.3 to all iPhones and iPads already out in the wild.

Last night, I downloaded iOS 9.3 to my iPhone 6 Plus, and I got to try the biggest aspect of that update: a new feature called Night Shift, which automatically changes your display’s colours to be “warmer,” and thus, easier on the eyes.

The idea behind Night Shift is that bright, blue lights can negatively affect your sleeping patterns — making it harder to both fall and stay asleep. With Night Shift, you can schedule when you want your screen’s colours to change, and you can also choose how “warm” or “cool” you want your screen to be.

There aren’t many other major changes in iOS 9.3, so I was looking forward to trying Night Shift. I was excited but a bit sceptical — sure, this feature might change the colour palette of my iPhone screen, but will that make reading and watching videos really annoying? Would I want to turn this feature off?

Thankfully, the answer to both questions is “no, not at all.” I totally didn’t mind Night Shift — in fact, I quite liked it.

At night, using Night Shift is definitely easier on the eyes. I was worried the colour change would affect how I look at photos and videos, but after a short while you don’t really notice the change.

Lying in bed last night, I spent some time on my iPhone with Night Shift on. I tend to be a night owl, so I do what I normally do, which is browse Twitter and Reddit until I start feeling tired. But about 10 minutes after some browsing, I turned off my phone and fell asleep pretty immediately.

Of course, this isn’t to say Night Shift has already improved my sleeping habits — there’s no way for me to know that yet, even though the first night was pretty promising. But even if I can’t ever prove Night Shift improves my sleeping habits, to me, it’s reassuring just to know the feature is there.

There’s plenty of research out there that backs the idea that bright blue lights can be harmful to your sleeping patterns and overall health, so knowing Night Shift is there and on when I need it is helpful for tricking my brain into falling asleep faster.

So far, Night Shift is one of my favourite recent additions to the iPhone. Here’s hoping Apple has some more clever life-improving features for iPhones and iPads later this year.


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