For many people, our phones are the last thing we see at night and the first thing we check in the morning. In an increasingly high-paced, high-pressure, high-connectivity world, smartphone addiction is growing in tandem with smartphone usage. We’re using our phones late at night, making it harder to fall asleep and affecting the quality rest that’s required to stay healthy and function at our best.
We believe that technology can be an incredible force for positive change. Part of that is creating sustainable and humane technologies that improve our world; meaning our gadgets should know when to scream for our attention and when to keep quiet.
In the spirit of our thoughtful and iterative approach to the creative process, we’ve designed a new function for the iPhone that creates a minimized home screen for when you’re getting ready to go to sleep: Lights Out.
Over half of smartphone owners are using their devices in the 30 minutes before they fall asleep, and 37% are even checking them in the middle of the night.
The calming home screen sets a new, looping-video background and ambient sounds put you in the mood to unwind and are a useful sensory trigger that it’s time to shut down – the digital equivalent of a cup of chamomile tea.
In your dock sits a customizable, restricted set of Apps that you’d want on your bedside table – maybe that’s your reminders for tomorrow, your journal, a guided-meditation app or a health-tracker.
You can set the feature to turn on automatically at a certain time, preventing roaming thumbs from “accidentally” opening Facebook just before bedtime. And it’s integrated with the Do Not Disturb function, so stray notifications will be saved up for the morning. Think of Lights Out as an advanced Do Not Disturb – for when you’re the one distracting yourself.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed by your phone but can’t bear to throw it off a bridge just yet, try Lights Out for digital detox lite. It’s like training wheels for setting good habits – because you shouldn’t have to live in a cave to have good sleep hygiene in today’s digital world.
Here’s to hoping Apple implements our new feature in time for next year’s resolutions!