Why Apple's iOS Update May Actually Help You Sleep Better

A genius feature called Night Shift adjusts the light from your screen at sunset.

Photo: Getty Images

The update that Apple pushed to iPhones and iPads today comes with an exciting innovation for anyone with an Instagram-at-bedtime habit: Called Night Shift, this new feature of iOS9.3 is actually designed to help improve your slumber by tweaking the hue of your screen.

"Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep," Apple explains on its website. Indeed, researchers have found that the blue light emitted by electronic devices slows the body's production of the snooze hormone, melatonin.

Apple's genius solution: Automatically adjusting the colors in your display at dusk. Night Shift uses your device's clock and geolocation to determine the time the sun sets, and then changes the light in your screen to the warmer end of the spectrum. At sunrise, the screen returns to normal.

There are a few apps that perform a similar trick, including f.lux, which adjusts your computer's display to the time of day. But the fact that Apple has included this feature with its software update shows the company's awareness of the health risks of tech, and its willingness to do something about them.

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