You’re cozy in bed, finally drifting away. Then your phone buzzes and lights up the room.
It’s annoying — and it definitely happens. Unexpected notifications can happen at embarrassing times, too, like during a meeting. Tap or click here for a guide to navigating your phone’s Do Not Disturb feature when you need silence.
Do Not Disturb mutes your phone, but Sleep Mode is an upgrade for your entire life. Apple introduced Sleep Mode with iOS 14 and watchOS 7 through the Health app, and it’s a game-changer.
How to launch iPhone Sleep Mode
Before you can use Sleep Mode, you need to set it up. Luckily, that only takes a minute. Here’s how:
- Head to your Health app and tap to open it.
- On the bottom right corner of your screen, tap Browse.
- Towards the bottom of the menu, select Sleep.
- Tap the big blue Get Started button.
- Tap Next from the menu (this shows you the benefits of Sleep Mode).
After launching Sleep Mode, a prompt will ask you to set a sleep goal. The app can recommend a wake-up alarm time, as well as a suggested time to go to sleep.
Setting your schedule and making the most of Sleep Mode
Now that you’ve entered Sleep Mode, your iPhone will ask you to set up your first schedule. This is what you need to do.
- Set your Sleep Goal by hours and minutes.
- On the top of the next screen, find the Days Active section and highlight the days you want to set your schedule for in blue. All seven days of the week will be highlighted by default.
- Drag the Bedtime and Wake Up slider along the wheel to select your bedtime and wake-up time.
- Tap Add in the top right corner of your screen once you’re done.
- On the next screen, you can select Add a Schedule for Other Days to set up bedtime and wake-up times for days you chose not to highlight (such as weekends). Set up additional days and schedules if you want.
- Tap the blue Next button on the bottom of the Your Schedules page.
- Your iPhone will prompt you to enable Sleep Screen, which dims your lock screen at bedtime. This step is optional but recommended.
- Choose a Wind Down time to enable Sleep Screen early. This is optional, too.
- Choose Wind Down Shortcuts if you’d like to access some apps from the lock screen during Wind Down. Again, this is just optional.
You’ll also be prompted to enable your Apple Watch to help track how long you sleep if you have one. There’s a screen that asks you to Enable or Skip this option.
Afterward, your iPhone will show you a summary of your options. You can always change your settings at any time in the Health app.
Here’s why Sleep Mode is extremely beneficial (and better than Do Not Disturb mode)
Enabling Sleep Mode includes many benefits that can help you make minor upgrades throughout your life instead of just muting notifications.
Blue light keeps your brain active. Scrolling on your phone for hours before bed inhibits the ability to fall asleep and enter REM sleep. Sleep Mode helps you fall asleep faster.
According to the CDC, when your circadian rhythm is interrupted by poor sleeping habits, it can lead to extra morning sleepiness and leave you more awake at night.
If you have an Apple Watch, it’s worth setting up that functionality. Pairing Sleep Mode with your Apple Watch grants valuable feedback about the quantity and quality of sleep you’re getting. Use Sleep Mode for long enough, and you’ll be able to track positive changes in sleeping habits that lead to better health.
In short, better sleep habits help your body naturally repair damaged muscles and tissue, as well as your bones. Your sleep is also vital to your immune system health.
Do Not Disturb doesn’t do any of these things. It simply silences notifications, calls, and texts when your iPhone is locked. Still, it’s pretty darn useful when you need it.
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