Night Shift: A hidden gem on the Apple Watch

Who even knew that Night Shift was a thing on the Apple Watch? This hidden away gem aims to improve sleep and reduce eye strain.

The feature was first introduced by Apple in 2016 with the release of iOS 9.3. Initially available for iPhones and iPads, Night Shift aims to address concerns about the impact of blue light on sleep patterns. The feature’s popularity and positive reception led to its expansion to other Apple devices, including Macs.

How to activate Night Shift on the Apple Watch

As initially reported on Reddit, Night Shift is also available on the Apple Watch. The setting acts just like that on iPhone. But it is tucked away.

Strangely enough, you can only find it hidden away as a Siri prompt. Which means you need to ask Siri to turn it on. While this voice-activated method might be convenient for some, it lacks the option for users to schedule Night Shift or access it directly through the watch’s settings.

Apple Night Shift

To add to the confusion, Siri says that you can schedule Night Shift in the Settings. But currently this is not possible.

Apple Night Shift

Despite the somewhat hidden nature of Night Shift and its activation limitations, the potential benefits of using it are significant. Activating it can help you sleep better as you will experience less eye strain when using their Apple Watch at night. 

The science behind Night Shift is rooted in the understanding of how blue light affects our bodies. Exposure to blue light can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. By reducing blue light exposure, Night Shift can help to maintain healthy melatonin levels, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Night Shift seems to only be available from Apple Watch Series 6 and up. So if you have one of the earlier generations – you are out of luck.

Final word

In addition to Night Shift, Apple Watch Ultra has a dedicated Night Mode. But this is a bit different. Night Mode turns the interface a vibrant red to preserve night vision in low-light conditions.This feature is particularly useful for outdoor adventurers and anyone who needs to maintain their night vision while using their watch. Night Mode can be set to activate automatically in low-light environments or turned on and off manually.

Apple Watch Ultra Night Mode
Apple Watch Ultra Night Mode

At the moment the activation method of Night Shift on the Apple Watch remains a point of contention. It would be much easier to make use of the feature if it was integrated with the iPhone’s Night Shift feature, for example. The linkup would allow for synchronized scheduling. Hopefully this will be something Apple will address in the upcoming watchOS 11.

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Regardless, it is good about to know about this hidden gem. If you thought you knew everything there is to know about your Apple Watch, this may have proved you wrong. The positive impact of Night Shift on sleep and eye health cannot be denied, making it a valuable tool for Apple Watch users who want to prioritise their well-being.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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