Attention, Apple users: Are you on night shift mode?


It’s fair to say that our cellphones have robbed us of a good night’s sleep. As much as you hate to admit it, when you say you’re going to bed, what you really mean is you’re going to lie on your back and scroll through social media sites.

You’re not alone, though, because most people struggle with warding off distractions before going to bed. But, lo and behold, Apple finally caught wind of this and decided to try and save you from yourself.

If you update your phone to IOS 9.3, you’ll be surprised to know that, unlike other updates, it not only fixes “bugs” and takes up space, but it also has new and useful features.

The most useful is the night shift feature that Apple hopes will help you to get a good night’s rest.

What is the night shift feature?

First of all, calm down — the night shift feature isn’t about finding some late night “fun” that will put you to sleep. Instead, the feature allows users to switch their phones into night shift mode, which means that the phone will emit a warmer display light.

Apple developers came up with this feature because phones and laptops emit blue lights that offset your sleep cycle. Blue lights tamper with your melatonin production, which makes falling asleep harder. So softening these lights and replacing them with warmer colors before bed hopefully won’t affect your sleep cycle as much.

How do I get access the feature?

Accessing night shift mode is simple:

  • Do you have an iPhone 5s or a newer version of the iPhone? Do you have an iPad Air, Pro or Mini? Do you have a sixth generation iPod touch?
  • If you don’t have any of the devices mentioned above, then you might want to get one.
  • After acquiring one of the listed devices, ensure that it has been updated to IOS 9.3.
  • Then go to “Settings.”
  • Select “Display & Brightness.”
  • Right under “Auto Brightness,” you will see “Night Shift.”

And voila, you can turn on the night shift mode. You even get to select the times you want your phone to automatically activate and deactivate the feature.

Does it work?

Well, right there on your phone, if you select “Display & Brightness” and then select “Night Shift,” there is a description of what the new feature will attempt to do. It reads, “Night Shift automatically shifts the colors of your display to the warmer end of the color spectrum after dark. This may help you get a better night’s sleep.”

Umm, “may help”? That’s probably the part that got you scratching your head, but Apple is right. While this new feature is moving in the right direction to help you sleep better, other factors come into play that can prevent this feature from being successful.

According to, studies have shown that exposure to blue light at night can affect your circadian rhythm. But the success of night shift mode is still widely debatable because researchers have yet to study the impact of those types of settings on sleep cycles.

Should you try it?

While there hasn’t been any research to show that night shift mode actually works, it would be silly of you not to try. Truthfully, having your phone on night shift mode makes your phone look like you dunked it in orange juice, and it absorbed the color. It’s not pretty, so maybe that will be enough incentive for you to put away your phone and get some shut eye.

Regardless of its debatable success, Apple still deserves a shoutout for trying, because, as soon as they start with something new, other tech companies will try to do outdo them. Then, before you know it, you’ll actually have a solution to your pesky sleep problems. But, for now, spread the word, and give night shift mode a try.

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