Can’t get to bed? Your iPhone can help, and you don’t need any special new apps to do it.
Bedtime is a part of the Clock app on the iPhone that can help you get more sleep. You decide in advance how much sleep you want to get in a night, and when to wake up; Bedtime sets that up for you, and keeps track of how well your sleep is going.
The feature works by setting up alarms for what time you want to get up (you can turn this off on weekends, or other days of the week where you can sleep in a little), and what time you should be in bed falling asleep.
You can set the bedtime alarm to go off 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or an hour before your app-assigned bedtime, or you can have it go off right at the moment you should be falling asleep, if that’s more your speed.
How Bedtime can help you get more sleep
You can set your alarm tone from a list of soothing tunes and melodies designed to wake you up slowly, which increases in volume the longer you don’t respond to them. The wake up alarm can be snoozed, but the app encourages you to get up consistently with that first alert, as regular sleep during the same hours is the secret to making sure your sleep is of good quality and healthy.
You can adjust your sleep and wake up times right from the Bedtime tab in the Clock app, dragging the moon icon on the circle to change when you get in bed, and the bell icon to adjust when you get up. The readout above the circle will let you know what the new times are, and Bedtime can be turned off at any point by tapping the slider at the top of the tab.
In addition to setting alarms, Bedtime automatically puts your phone into Do Not Disturb mode once you reach your assigned sleep time. This keeps you from being woken up by text message or email alerts, and discourages you from looking at your screen before bed, which has been shown to make falling asleep harder, and worsen sleep quality.
In the morning, once you unlock your phone again, it will go out of Do Not Disturb mode. Then you’ll be able to see all of your overnight notifications.
Bedtime keeps track of your sleep by logging in the Sleep Analysis chart in the Bedtime tab what time you stop using your phone (the app’s only way of determining when you’re asleep), and when you hit “Dismiss” or “Snooze” on your morning alarm.
If you use your phone after your assigned bedtime, you’ll shorten the data bar on your Sleep Analysis chart. If you hit snooze in the morning, your bar will lengthen. The goal is to get your bars to be the same length every day. If you can achieve that, you’ll have a healthy sleep schedule, and much better sleep.
Check out the below video for a step-by-step breakdown of how to set up Bedtime on your iPhone, and a demonstration of the Sleep Analysis readouts. For a little more help, you can check out Apple’s support article on Bedtime here. For some other sleep trackers and sleep-improving apps, check out an article we wrote here.