Technology

Google’s bedtime tools to help you get better sleep

Image used for representation purpose.

Image used for representation purpose.  

There’s been a rise in sleep-related searches like ‘insomnia’ and ‘can’t sleep,’ which reached all-time highs in April and May,” says the company in a blog post

Google has announced new bedtime tools in an effort to improve people’s sleep quality by creating an environment that would facilitate falling, and staying, asleep.

Also read: Better sleep is better health: Here are the top devices to help you sleep better

Sleep is an important component of our daily lives, and typically people are more focused on sleep quantity than quality. The COVID-19 pandemic has confined people to their homes, which has resulted in people developing erratic sleep schedules.

“There’s been a rise in sleep-related searches like ‘insomnia’ and ‘can’t sleep,’ which reached all-time highs in April and May,” says the company in a blog post.

The Bedtime mode is part of Google’s Digital Wellbeing settings in Android. These tools were introduced in Android Pie and there have been subsequent additions in Android 10. In certain phones like the Pixel range of devices and Android One devices, Digital Wellbeing can be accessed through the settings menu. While other Android devices can gain access to Digital Wellbeing by downloading it from the Google Play Store.

Bedtime mode, earlier known as Wind Down, when turned on, uses Do Not Disturb to silence texts, calls and other notifications. It can be accessed through the Digital Wellbeing settings. In addition, the colours on a phone are faded to grayscale, decreasing enticing colours that keep people awake, according to Google.

Bedtime mode can be customised: it can either be set to turn on automatically or after a phone is plugged in to charge. It can be quickly turned on or off from the phone’s Quick Settings panel.

“A regular bedtime and wake-up schedule (including on your off days) helps your body establish a strong circadian rhythm and can improve the quality of your sleep,” says the company.

The Clock app has a new Bedtime tab, using which daily sleep and wake times can be set. Within the app, the next day's calendar can be previewed along with a record of total number of sleep hours. The bedtime can be adjusted from here as well, without going back to the Digital Wellbeing settings.

Also read: Reset to sleep: bedtime rituals for the lockdown and after

Prior to bedtime, users will receive a reminder. They can also play calming sounds from Calm, Spotify, or YouTube Music to help them fall asleep. Additionally, the Sunrise Alarm offers a ‘visual cue’ 15 minutes before the audio alarm starts ringing. Users can set their favourite sounds or songs in place of the default alarm tones.

Bedtime reminders are integrated with YouTube also, so when it is time for bed a reminder appears in the YouTube app. A user can decide to see the reminder at bedtime or after a video ends.

Parents can use the Family Link app to set bedtimes on their child’s device. This limits a child’s screen time when it is time for bed, as the device will lock when bedtime starts. The app still allows calls if a child needs to reach a parent.

The new bedtime experience is rolling out to Pixel devices starting June 01, 2020 and will be available in the Clock app on other Android devices later this summer, as per the blog post.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 2:56:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/googles-bedtime-tools-to-help-you-get-better-sleep/article31759794.ece

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