Twilight: filter your phone’s blue light for a better night’s sleep

Developer: Urbandroid Team

Price: Free w/$2.99 Pro unlock

Category: Like to sleep better


What you need to know

No, this is not the tween 2010 vampire vs werewolves movies. This is the Twilight app. Do you use your phone at night? That was obviously rhetorical, of course, you do! If you are anything like me, your phone screen is the last thing you see before you close your eyes at night whether you are reading the Bible app, a news article, setting your alarm for the morning, or checking Facebook. But did you know that your phone emits blue light that can cause you to sleep uneasily? “Recent research suggests that exposure to blue light before sleep may distort your natural (circadian) rhythm and cause inability to fall asleep.The cause is the photoreceptor in your eyes, called Melanopsin. This receptor is sensitive to a narrow band of blue light in the 460-480nm range which may suppress Melatonin production – a hormone responsible for your healthy sleep-wake cycles.”

Twilight takes that blue light out of your phone screen by overlaying a red colored screen over the entire display. It is kind of hard to explain so let me show you.

See! It’s red! The first picture is with Twilight on and the second is with it off. Within the settings, you have the ability to turn up and down the intensity at which Twilight will overlay. The picture above is at about 40%. Now I know what are thinking, I’m not going to remember to turn this on every night. Well to that I say, “You are in luck!” Twilight can be set up to turn on at sundown and turn off at sunup. I know, amazing, right?

There are other ways to have the app turn on and off if you so choose. You can have it always on, have it detect your alarms, they suggest you use their alarm app called Sleep As Android for this setting to work the best, and there is also a custom setting that lets you set any time you want it to turn on and off.

As you can see in the tutorial for the app, there is some good info on why this app can actually help you get better sleep. There is also a warning, because of the screen overlay, you may see some issues when installing apps or even opening some apps that don’t allow a screen overlay. I know, for instance, I have to pause Twilight to open my Capital One app. This is no big deal, though. All you have to do is pull down the notification shade and tap the pause button. Just remember to pull down that shade again when you are done to un-pause Twilight.

If you like digging deeper into app settings you can also go to more settings and turn on the exclude apps from filtering option. This will prompt you to allow Twilight access to accessibility settings. Once that is done you can go through and check mark any apps you know will need the overlay turned off. Twilight will then know to turn off automatically and also turn on by itself when the specific app is closed. That’s it, set it and forget it.

This app seems like something you don’t need, but I have used it for the last six months and, when it’s not on, I really miss it. Give it a try and I bet you won’t want to turn it off either.

Download from the Google Play Store

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