Countless articles have popped over the past few years telling us that using our phones, tablets and computers before bed has a significantly negative impact on our ability to sleep well, that these devices interrupt our circadian rhythm and ruin our sleep cycles. Not to be outdone, the tech industry has responded in kind, creating app after app to help you sleep and, even better, track your sleep patterns so you have all the information you need to sleep even better with your phone. Another wave of apps have been born out of this revolt against screens after dark that dim the blue light of device screens, which is claimed to be the main culprit of interrupted sleep.
Like most people out there, I’m always on the hunt for better sleep and have found and been using a free app called Twilight by Urbandroid Team for quite awhile now and find it to be one of the most well-built screen adjusting apps out there. What I love most about it? It’s just plain soothing on the eyes after a long day of staring at a computer screen. But there’s more to it – lots more. Let’s dig in.
When you first open Twilight, I recommend taking a look at the “How it works” description. This app has a lot of features, so the more you know, the more likely you’ll be able to really make it work for you.
There are three visual aspects of the phone that Twilight can affect: Color temperature (how blue or red your screen is), Intensity (the intensity of the Twilight overlay), and Screen dim (obviously, how much you want your screen dimmed). You can adjust each of these and also adjust when you want the Twilight filter applied. I have it currently set to turn on between sunset and sunrise, which Twilight calibrates based on your location.
When you have everything set to your liking, you can create a profile that will remember these settings and apply them when you choose that particular profile. You can create multiple profiles to use at different times or in different situations.
In the More settings section at the bottom of the app home screen, you can find a variety of different options to adjust, including some experimental features that Urbandroid Team is working on.
You can access a control sidebar of sorts by tapping the three lines at the top left-hand corner of the app. This sidebar lets you pause and stop the app, report a bug, and choose your profile. You can also go pro and purchase the pro version of Twilight for USD $2.99.
This app is fairly robust for what it’s been built to do and is definitely worth trying out. I’ve found it to be helpful in just letting me and my eyes relax at the end of the day, and having it set to run automatically during dark hours just means I get the benefits of a more eye-friendly, circadian rhythm-friendly screen without having to think about it. While I don’t have a tablet, I’d bet this would be great to have running on one, especially if you use your tablet for late-night reading.
Overall, Twilight has been a great addition to my arsenal of useful apps!
Have you tried the Twilight app before? What did you think? Are you using another app to dim and adjust your screens? Tell us in the comments!
The App of the Week is a series in which the blog team will try out apps and share their thoughts on those that catch their eye. If any partner apps are showcased, we’ll be sure to let you know!