Apps For Improving Sleep | Vital Plan
Apps For Improving Sleep
By Vital Plan Posted 04-13-2016
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

It’s become common practice for people to be on their smartphones or work from their laptops late into the night. Brightly-lit screens have become so much a part of our daily life that it’s hard to get away from them. Brightly-lit screens and good sleep, however, are not compatible.

Bright Screens Disrupt Sleeping Patterns

Light from the screen, specifically blue light, suppresses melatonin secretion in the brain. Secretion of melatonin is a necessary biological process for initiating sleep.

Sleep is very dependent on darkness. When the sun goes down and the lights go out, the brain starts secreting melatonin. If your brain is flooded with light stimulation up until the moment that you climb under the sheets, the brain gets flustered and normal sleep may not be properly initiated. This typically results in a night of disrupted sleep and odd dreams.

Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue. There are several companies that have created apps in recent years to remove the blue light from your computer, tablet, and phone screens.

A blue-light-free screen is perfectly readable. In fact, it’s even pleasant. It’s not harsh on your eyes and will not leave you with a headache. Of course, it will also help if you reduce any other artificial lighting as bedtime draws near.

Recommended Apps for Improving Sleep

A company called f.lux has created a computer app that removes blue light from the computer screen. The app allows a normally-lit screen during the day, and then gradually removes blue light from the screen as the sun goes down. After you enter your zip code, it synchronizes a circadian rhythm of light and dark specific to your time zone. The app can be downloaded for free at, and is currently available for Mac, iPad, and Windows.

Another app called Twilight offers a similar experience for Android smartphone users. Twilight has additional settings and features that lets you adjust the color temperature and intensity. You can download the free version from the Google Play app store.

For iPhone users, Apple recently released a new update (iOS 9.3.1) that includes a “Night Shift” option. You can access it from the bottom pull-up menu on your phone (the button looks like a sun and moon combined). Unlike f.lux and Twilight, you will need to manually turn it on every night. Once turned on, it will remove blue light from the screen until the next morning (7:00am).

Have you tried any of these apps, or found any others?

Let us know by tweeting us @VitalPlan or commenting on our Facebook.

About the Medical Director
Dr. Bill Rawls
Dr. Bill Rawls has practiced conventional medicine as a gynecologist for
over 20 years and is also the co-founder and medical director of Vital Plan, a wellness and herbal supplement company.

Post a Comment



  1. Anonymous

    I apologize for this but I would like to correct your indication that the Apple for iPhone “Night Shift” option can only be set manually and must be so every night. In the Settings for the iPhone, under the Display and Brightness option, users can set Night Shift to change the colors for a scheduled period of time. They also have an option that allows you to manually enable Night Shift until the next day. In addition, users scan select the Colour Temperature (Less Warm to More Warm) using a continuum button located at the bottom of the Night Shift settings window. I don’t work for Apple nor am I affiliated with them in any way. I do however use an iPhone and iPad. I also have a background in writing users manuals for the telecom industry (prior to becoming ill with CL). It is because of that background that I felt compelled to post this comment in such detail. I do apologize if I have offended anyone. Thank you Dr. Rawls for the excellent webinar that you hosted this evening on some of the myths surrounding Lyme. I found it very informative and look forward to future webinars as they become available.

    • Tim Yarborough

      Hi Kathi,

      Thanks for the detailed user instructions! We always appreciate clarification and correction if we’ve made a mistake and it sounds like you have the perfect background :-).

      Glad to hear you enjoyed the Mythbusting Lyme Disease webinar with Dr. Rawls. See you at a future webinar.

      Tim from Vital Plan

Dr. Bill Rawls


Dr. Rawls graduated from Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1985 and he holds a medical license in North Carolina. He also has extensive training in alternative therapies and is Medical Director of Vital Plan, an herbal supplement company in Raleigh, N.C.

HAVE A QUESTION? Have a question

Call us at (800) 951-2414 or fill out the form below and one of our Health Educators will get back to you in 1-2 business days.

First Name*



Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider before making changes to your healthcare regimen.