When the first beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.4 seeded to developers yesterday morning, it brought with it ‘Night Shift’ mode. It’s a helpful feature that ought to improve your sleep patterns and even your health, especially for those night owls who use their MacBooks right before going to sleep at night.
Night Shift changes the tint of your display to a warmer and yellower hue after sunset, helping you fall asleep more easily at night by making your laptop’s glow less disruptive to your body’s biological clock, also known as the circadian rhythm in scientific parlance.
Many studies have shown that nighttime exposure to bright-blue light emitted by your smartphone, laptop, and energy-efficient light bulbs has a harmful impact on the circadian rhythm. It suppresses the body’s secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s natural clock, and prevents people from getting a good night’s rest. Even more distressing, studies have linked these biological disruptions to devastating health problems including diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular issues. Which is all to say Night Shift mode serves an important function.
How to Turn on Night Shift for Mac
To use Night Shift for Mac, you’ll need macOS 10.12.4 — which is currently in developer beta. A public beta version is likely to be released in the near future.
Users can toggle the feature on and off from the Today view in the Notification Center — which is accessed by clicking on the three-lined icon in the upper right corner of the screen. The toggle is located above the date, next to the Do Not Disturb feature.
Additionally, Night Shift can also be activated or deactivated via Siri — just hail Siri and say “Turn on Night Shift” or “Turn off Night Shift.”
Night Shift’s options can also be tweaked via System Preferences > Displays > Night Shift. From here, you can set a schedule for Night Shift to be automatically enabled, and even adjust the color temperature to be warmer or cooler.
The new feature also tweaks the color temperature of connected external displays, as well as your Mac’s built-in screen — ensuring that your circadian rhythm isn’t inadvertently affected by the light of an extra display.
Remember: macOS Sierra 10.12.4 is only available in beta to developers at this time. We can expect to see a general release sometime in the spring.