Science has already said it — electronic devices can mess with our sleep. But, let’s get real — these gadgets have become such huge parts of our daily lives that we find it so hard to put them down even when it’s already time to hit the sack. Indeed, too much of anything is bound to have negative outcomes. Then again, who’s to blame? These gadgets allow us to perform various tasks and stay connected, which is why we tend to not notice the time passing by. How many times have you found yourself surprised that it’s already past your bedtime and you’ve spent over an hour lying awake on your bed, scrolling through your social media feeds?
This is a result of two things: the blue light emitted by your gadget and your own habits. While we can’t help you with the latter, we can teach you how to counter the former. Thankfully, there’s what we call Android night mode, which you can activate in different ways depending on the specific device you have. With this feature, you can keep your device from keeping you awake at night — unless you really want or have to.
How Your Gadgets Keep You Awake
There are three ways your phone, tablet, or computer messes with your sleep:
- It suppresses melatonin – Studies show that the blue light emitted by our gadgets’ LED screens slows down or prevents the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm) and tells our brain it’s already bedtime.
- It keeps your brain alert – Even the simplest things we do on our phones work our brains out, so it remains alert and engaged. As a result, it believes it needs to stay awake, so it does. Over time, your brain creates its own habit of staying awake even if you already want to sleep badly — it’s a vicious cycle.
- It wakes you up – If you’re a light sleeper (which could have also been a result of your nighttime gadget habits), every notification coming from your device can easily wake you up, rendering all your efforts to fall and stay asleep ineffective.
How to Stop Your Android Device From Affecting Your Sleep: Activate Night Mode
Phone and tablet manufacturers, as well as app developers, have been working to help users break their bad nighttime habits. “Night mode” is a feature that gives your screen a red tint to overpower the blue light spectrum, tricking your eyes and brain and telling it to relax.
However, unlike iOS devices that have a single built-in app for night mode (Night Shift), Android devices have varying methods for canceling blue light. In fact, not all Android devices actually have a night mode feature (though of course there’s an app for that). Read on to learn about these different methods.
Google Pixel Night Light
If you are a true-blue Android fan, you probably own a Google Pixel, which offers the purest Android experience possible. Luckily, Pixel devices come with a night mode feature, Night Light, out of the box. Here are the steps to activate Night Light on your Pixel:
- Pull the notification shade down. Next, tap the Settings (gear) icon.
- Scroll through the list until you find Display.
- Look for Night Light.
- It is recommended that you set it to turn on automatically. To do so, tap Schedule. You will be given three options: Never, Custom schedule, and Sunset to sunrise. Choosing “Never” will keep Night Light from turning on automatically. “Custom schedule” lets you define the hours that it will stay on. Meanwhile, “Sunset to sunrise” will depend on your local area’s sunset and sunrise schedule.
- If you select “Never” in the previous step, you can still turn on Night Light whenever you want to. Under the main Night Light menu, you can simply toggle the switch under Status.
- If Night Light is turned on using the step above, the option to set Intensity will be available.
Samsung Night Mode: Blue Light Filter
If you happen to sport a Samsung S8, S8+, Note8, S9, or S9+, then you can benefit from its built-in night mode feature called the Blue Light Filter. Activating it is similar to how you would do it on a Pixel. Here are the steps:
- First, pull down the notification shade to access Settings.
- On the Settings menu, find Display.
- You should easily see “Blue light filter” below “Auto brightness”. There’s a toggle switch beside it, which you can use to turn on the feature right then and there. But if you want to set it up to activate automatically every day, tap “Blue light filter”.
- To have Blue Light Filter turn on automatically, tap the toggle beside “Turn on as scheduled”. Then, choose between “Sunset to sunrise” or “Custom schedule”.
By the way, when you turn on Blue Light Filter manually, you can also adjust its Opacity (which is referred to as Intensity in Pixel phones).
Night Mode Apps
For all other Android devices, you’ll need to download a night mode app. Some of the most popular are CF.lumen, f.lux, and Twilight. However, the first two only works on rooted devices, so your best bet is Twilight if your Android is untouched. We suggest trying Twilight first before delving into more advanced apps.
When active, Twilight lets you adjust color temperature, intensity, and screen dim. It also allows setting filter times. You can also set an alarm to remind you that it’s time to sleep and get into night mode.
While you’re at it, we also suggest downloading and installing apps such as Outbyte Android Care. These tools take care of your device by cleaning out junk, so other apps like Twilight run smoothly every single time.