January 21, 2021 3 min read
Light and temperature, are the two most important factors responsible for regulating our sleep cycle.
For most of human history, our sleep has been guided by the sunlight. This has been disrupted by the rise of electric light and, more recently, by our constant usage of screens, which has led to a significant deterioration of our sleep quality.
Screens emit a blueish light, in terms of wavelength, similar to the sunlight at noon. Being exposed to this kind of light in the evening confuses our body and reduces the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for triggering sleep.
Filter apps, by removing this blue light, turns your screen to a warmer, yellowish color, which reduces the negative impact of screens on sleep quality.
Even then, we would like to add, that it’s better to stay away from screens before sleep. While those apps will help you get better sleep, checking social media or messaging your friends will increase brain activity and will keep you awake longer.
To activate the blue light filter on your iPhone or iPad (iOS), go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift. You can then schedule the feature for specific times of the day, or enable it until the next day, or adjust your screen’s color temperature, thereby filtering out the blue light.
To run the native blue light filter app ‘Night Shift’ on your iOS device, you must be running iOS version 9.3 or newer (iPhone 5s or iPad 2).
Apple added a blue light filter for Mac OS in March 2017 called ‘Night Shift'. To activate the feature, go to System Preferences > Displays > Night Shift. You can choose to activate it between sunset and sunrise or specific hours, or enable it until the next day, or adjust your Mac’s screen color temperature.
To run the blue light filter feature ‘Night Shift’ on your Apple Mac, you must be running MacOS version Sierra 10.12.4 or newer on one of the following Mac computers...
To activate the blue light filter on your Android phone or tablet, go to Settings > Display > Night Light or Blue Light Feature (depending on your device). You can then schedule the blue light filter between specific hours, or adjust your device’s ‘Intensity’, allowing you to filter out the blue light.
Several Android manufacturers include blue light filters into their devices. Google’s Pixel and Pixel 2 have this feature built-in, along with other manufacturers such as, Honor, Huawei, Asus, OnePlus, Samsung.
If you’re running an older version of Android, like Android One or stock Android, and can’t find this feature, there are a number of apps that can help you achieve the same results, such as Twilight and Blue Light Filter.
To activate the blue light filter feature, ‘Night Light’, on Windows 10, right click on your desktop > Display Settings. This will open a window where you can toggle the blue light filter. To configure the feature, go to Night Light Settings, to adjust the colour temperature and schedule blue light filtering between specific times.