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Clock on iPhone or iPad is a great app for both tracking your sleep and waking up in the morning. Here are some tips to get the most out of it.
As an alarm clock that you always have with you, the Clock app on an iPhone is great for daily morning routines, as well as keeping you on track when you’re traveling.
Here’s how to set up the Clock app for optimal sleep and wake cycles.
The easiest way to use the Clock app as an alarm is to simply create an alarm in the app.
This is a pretty self-explanatory feature, and it’s great for setting an alarm to wake up.
- Open Clock on your iPhone.
- Tap the Alarm tab at the bottom
- Tap the Plus icon in the top right corner.
From here you can set the time you want your alarm to go off, as well as whether it will repeat. If you wake up at the same time every day for work, it’s convenient to go inside To repeat and set it for the weekdays.
You can also use a Label for your alarms, essentially giving them a name. This is especially useful for keeping track of time. You can have an alarm to wake up and a separate alarm to leave on your commute.
Then there is Sound. You can choose from a variety of Apple ringtones and sounds here, ranging from pleasant to cheerful. While it’s not necessary, occasionally changing the sound to something new can make it easier to wake up.
The snooze toggle lets you dictate whether you can snooze your alarm clock in the morning, adding a few minutes more bedtime to your schedule. When it’s turned off, you can only turn off your alarm – not snooze.
As an aside, iOS will also automatically detect if the next day is a holiday based on the Calendar app. If so, you will be notified and asked if you want to edit your alarm.
Sleep and bedtime
For a while, the Clock app’s alarm feature was the only built-in way to use an iPhone to wake you up in the morning. However, iOS now has a separate feature that was once called Bedtime and is now called Sleep Schedule.
The Bedtime/Sleep feature is essentially an alarm with the added benefit of tracking your sleep. It can also help you go to bed on time with a “Wind Down” reminder.
As an added bonus, the bedtime function also has its own set of pleasant wake-up sounds that start softly and gradually get louder. It’s meant to help you get up more carefully so you don’t wake up.
To set a Sleep Schedule, you can do it in the Health app.
- Open the Health app.
- Tap Browse and then tap Sleep.
- Tap Sleep schedule under Your schedule.
- Tap the switch next to Sleep schedule.
From there, you’ll be greeted with the option to set how many hours of sleep you want to get per night. Then you can use the clock slider to set your sleep and wake times.
Once your sleep schedule is set, you can always change it for an individual day in the Clock app. This will only affect the next wake up time and won’t disrupt your schedule – perfect for when you’re sick or have an unexpected day off.
You can also set separate sleep schedules for both weekdays and weekends.
One of the most useful features of the Bedtime/Sleep Schedule System is that it comes with a built-in “wind-down” mode meant to help you relax before going to bed.
Shortcuts to the bottom allow you to add app icons to the lock screen for easy access before going to bed. Some good options are mindfulness or meditation apps, journaling apps, or music streaming platforms.
To set up Wind Down Shortcuts, go to: Health > Sleep > Down Shortcuts
While Apple’s Bedtime and Wind Down features are great for getting you to bed on time, you can do more with automations.
In the Shortcuts app, you have several options to automate certain processes before bedtime. For example, you can turn your iPhone into a portable sound machine to lull you to sleep.
The trick is to set the When parameter to “When bedtime startsThe possibilities here are pretty endless, from playing a specific playlist in Apple Music to turning off certain lights connected to HomeKit.
It’s definitely worth playing with. Create or find an automation that works for you.