We’ve been hearing a lot about tech companies hopping on the digital wellness train, allowing users to take back control of their devices with mindful boundaries and features that encourage unplugging.
On the heels of Google, Instagram, and Facebook, Apple just announced the release of its buzzy iOS 12 features, many of them being tools to better understand and improve our health. After all, with all the time we spend staring at our devices, the constant screen time can take a serious toll on our eyes and our internal clocks.
While we’re excited that so many key tech players are starting to make big changes, there are also small tweaks you can make to your iPhone that will make a huge difference for your eyes, your sleep, your attention span, and your well-being. Here are a few iPhone tricks that are worth trying out:
Grayscale is one of those features that has existed for a while, but it can be a little tricky to find, since the feature is buried in the Accessibility settings in your phone. In a recent piece by the Wall Street Journal, reporter Joanna Stern tried to limit her phone use by activating grayscale on her phone, essentially draining her digital world of color. By eliminating color and seeing our apps in neutral hues, not only will you save your eyes, but you’ll probably be less inclined to watch every Instagram story on your feed.
If you haven’t heard yet, Apple’s new operating system, iOS 12, includes a feature called Screen Time, and the Thrive team was able to try the beta version before its release. The new tool allows you to understand and decide how much time you spend on specific categories of apps (social media, gaming, news, email), and then set time limits so they don’t take over your life.
When it comes to sleep, our phones can be our worst enemy. Research shows that nighttime scrolling can lead to irregular sleep patterns, and if you keep your phone in your bedroom, bedtime can turn into a battle that’s difficult to win. One way to combat the late-night damage? “Do Not Disturb” hours. Program your bedtime hours in your settings, which will signal to your device that it’s time for you to wind down, dimming your display and silencing overnight notifications.
Night Shift is a hidden gem that was originally introduced to the iPhone as part of Apple’s iOS 9.3 update. The feature allows users to calibrate the iPhone’s display to warmer, dimmer colors at night, which actually makes it easier on your eyes. The feature even uses your phone’s clock and geolocation to track the sunset time wherever you are. By lessening your exposure to blue light, the setting helps your body tap into its circadian rhythm so you can sleep better.