As Covid-19 disrupts people’s sleep, Google introduces ‘Bedtime’ feature for Android

Mumbai | Updated on June 02, 2020 Published on June 02, 2020

Google will soon roll out new bedtime features to help people get better sleep as part of its Digital Wellbeing initiative.

The search giant had reported a rise in sleep-related search queries such as “insomnia” and “can’t sleep” in April and May, as the Covid-19 pandemic has caused anxiety and sleep disorders among people. The features are a part of Google’s initiative to help people sleep better.

“With sleep, the quality is just as important as the quantity. Right now, those of us who no longer commute and are staying close to home may be able to sleep in, but how well and how much we’re sleeping can still be a struggle,” Google said in an official blog post.

Bedtime mode for Android

“In fact, there’s been a rise in sleep-related searches like “insomnia” and “can’t sleep,” which reached all-time highs in April and May. At Google, we believe that technology should improve life, not distract from it – including your sleep. Today, we’re sharing a few tips and new bedtime tools to help you get better and more restful sleep,” it said.

The tech giant has now updated Android’s ‘Wind Down’ mode to ‘Bedtime’ mode, to help people get off their devices and sleep better. The mode automatically initiates a Do Not Disturb mode and/ or Grayscale and silences calls, texts and notifications. Grayscale fades the colours on a user’s phone to black and white.

Google is making it easier to customise, enabling the Bedtime mode with these new updates.

Users can also choose to turn on the feature automatically or after their phone is plugged in to charge. They can add the Bedtime mode to their phone's Quick Settings panel “to instantly turn it on or off with a single tap.”

Bedtime mode is available on all devices that have the Digital Wellbeing and parental controls settings.

Google clock updates

Google has also added a “Bedtime” tab to the Google Clock. Here, users can set their daily sleep and wake times and set alarms for the same.

They can also choose to listen to calming music from apps such as YouTube Music, Spotify, Calm, or other third-party services play from Google clock.

The app will also display how much time users spend on their devices and the apps they have used after their set bedtime.

Google has also recommended using the ‘Sunrise’ alarm in order to gradually wake up.

“To avoid interrupting deep sleep and to wake up more gently, the Sunrise Alarm gives a visual cue that your wake-up time is approaching, 15 minutes prior to your audio alarm. Make it an even more pleasant experience by adding your favourite song or sounds,” Google said.

It had recently added a bedtime reminder for its video-sharing platform YouTube. Apart from this, parents can also set bedtime reminders for devices using the Family link option.

“Family Link helps you set digital ground rules for your children, including managing their screen time activity, app downloads, in-app purchases and even bedtime for their device,” Google explained.

“You can create a daily bedtime schedule, adjusting it on certain days or weekends as needed. Once bedtime rolls around, your child’s device will lock, but will still allow calls in case your child needs to reach you,” it said.

Published on June 02, 2020
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