Orange

Something that this blog, if and when I take to writing on it regularly, will likely focus on is topics about sleep, or the lack thereof. This is now my second post about the matter, the first of which I plan to eventually edit into its own page for the good of the people. I think about sleep because getting it has always been something I have struggled with. There are many factors that go into my lack of sleep and this post will kick off some personal research I plan to do in the coming weeks or months.

Early this week Apple previewed iOS 9.3, which contained some exciting features (to me at least) including one out of left field called Night Shift. Night Shift, as described by Apple,

...uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings.

Put another way, it makes your screen orange at night so your brain thinks the wavelengths being delivered to it are from the setting, rather than mid day, sun. It's a "lifehack" that resolves a dispute between modern life and our evolution.

I immediately downloaded the certificate (another exciting feature of iOS 9.3), installed the beta, and enabled the feature in the Display and Brightness settings on both iPad and iPhone. Additionally, I downloaded F.lux to my Macs, which not only does the same thing but had been hacked onto the iPhone just a few months ago before Apple put the kibosh on it and promptly sherlocked the developers. I have tried F.lux before, but given that during darkness hours I primarily used my iOS devices, I never really saw the benefit to my screens being slightly more orange. Now I am all in and experimenting with the feature to see if it improves the quality of sleep I get, which has recently been sliding in the wrong direction according to Pillow.

Coincidentally, I learned this week that a friend of mine has been having an even worse time getting a good nights sleep and has consulted a doctor on what she can do to get to bed. I have offered to help solve her potential technology problems and maybe give her a pointer or two on her pillow technique. I'm going to suggest we do this experiment together, and if she'd like she can offer any insights she gains for follow up.

I will write a follow up post in a month or two with all sorts of great accompanying charts. In addition to orange screens I also rediscovered an app that I had tested a few months back called Sunn. Sunn is clever in that it also uses your location and time to slowly adjust your Phillips Hue or comparable smart (someday we'll drop the smart modifier) light bulbs. This experiment leaves me desiring the orange feature elsewhere just to be completely thorough. My TV will still be providing a large dose of blue light, and unfortunately Destiny doesn't have a Night Shift mode of its own.

Mark VaskeiOS, Night Shift, F.lux, Apple, Sleep