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Apple releases iOS 9.3, which may help you sleep better at night

By Alvin Soon - on 22 Mar 2016, 10:10am

Apple releases iOS 9.3, which may help you sleep better at night

Image source: Apple

iOS 9.3 is available for download right now, and it has one major new feature that may help you sleep better at night.

Here’s how iOS 9.3 can help you night owls sleep better

Called Night Shift, the new feature automatically shifts the color of your iOS device’s display as the day goes by. The closer it gets to dark, the warmer in color the display becomes, making it more yellow and less blue.

This can actually help you sleep better at night, and it’s backed by research. Our brains adjust our body’s biological clock by the sun; and one of the cues it uses is the color of the light we see through our eyes.

The closer to day it becomes, the cooler the light outdoors is. The closer to nighttime, the warmer the light becomes. You can see it for yourself today, go out at noon and notice that the sunlight has hardly any color, while sunlight during sunset casts a warm, yellow glow.

As it gets closer to night, our brains start to prepare our bodies for sleep. All this worked fantastically for tens of thousands of years as humans lived in the wild. But the invention of artificial light disrupted all that, as modern electronic devices produce blue light.

Our brains start to switch off for night, only to receive massive waves of blue light at nighttime again, and it thinks that it’s not yet time to go to bed. This disrupts the body’s biological clock and disrupts sleep patterns. Studies suggest that too much blue light at night can lead to sleep problems, which in turn can lead to a whole host of other problems.

How to use Night Shift on iOS 9.3

With iOS 9.3, Night Shift can automatically shift the color of your device’s display once it gets to night. It does this by geolocation — using the GPS to detect where you are, and where the sunrise and sunset times are for your location. You can also set a custom schedule for when to enable Night Shift.

You can toggle Night Shift under Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift, or on Control Center, which comes with a new, fifth Night Shift button.

What else is new in iOS 9.3

While iOS 9.3 isn’t a major point release, it does come with some other new features besides Night Shift.

  • Notes can be secured with a password and Touch ID
  • The Health App will recommend apps for fitness
  • Third-party apps can add Apple Music songs and play them
  • You can now pair multiple Watches (if you have them) to a single iPhone
  • CarPlay’s Music app will recommend songs
  • The News App comes with trending topics and personalized recommendations (the app is still not available locally)
  • New Classroom app for schools

Image source: Apple