Study: Apple’s Night Shift doesn’t really help you sleep better

A new Brigham Young University (BYU) study finds that Apple’s Night Shift and assorted knockoffs don’t actually improve sleep.

Apple's Night Shift

Night Shift1 uses the clock and geolocation of your device to determine when it’s sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colors of your display to warmer colors. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings.

Cami Buckley for Brigham Young University:

It’s widely believed that the emitted blue light from phones disrupts melatonin secretion and sleep cycles. To reduce this blue light emission and the strain on eyes, Apple introduced an iOS feature called Night Shift in 2016; a feature that adjusts the screen’s colors to warmer hues after sunset. Android phones soon followed with a similar option, and now most smartphones have some sort of night mode function that claims to help users sleep better.

Until recently, claims of better sleep due to Night Shift have been theoretical. However, a new study from BYU published in Sleep Health challenges the premise made by phone manufacturers and found that the Night Shift functionality does not actually improve sleep…

The results suggest that it is not blue light alone that creates difficulty falling or staying asleep. The psychological engagement experienced when texting, scrolling and posting are also important factors that affect sleep outcomes.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, Apple doesn’t actually tout Night Shift as a sleep aid. The company says the feature “automatically adjusts the colors of your display to the warmer end of the spectrum — making the display easier on your eyes.”


  1. I use Apple Night Shift on all of my devices 24 hours a day. My hope is that by reducing blue light that I will reduce my chances of getting macular degeneration.

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