I recently listened to the audio version of ‘Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker’ and started looking for ways to optimize my sleep. Take the sleep mode setting on iOS, for example. There are several settings that Apple has implemented over the years to help users have a good and peaceful sleep. But before we understand these settings and how to use or install it, let’s understand the benefits and side effects of sleeping or lacking them:
Disadvantages of Lack of Sleep:
- One of the main causes of accidents of all kinds
- You are less sharp
- Leading cause of health problems like diabetes, heart disease
- Lack of sexual desire
- Leads to depression
- Accelerate the aging process
- Leads to less activity and obesity
That’s a pretty long list. See how sleep settings mode on iOS can help reduce smartphone addiction and improve sleep quantity and quality.
Sleep Settings on iOS
1. Downtime and Usage Time
Device Time collects data and analyzes how much time you are using across different apps. This is a good indicator of how much time is wasted on Facebook or Instagram. You know you’re guilty of it. You can then use these data points to limit your usage. Some users also use smartphones before sleeping, in bed. That’s when Time is Down. An interesting feature is in Apple’s new health initiative.
Once you’ve identified your sleep setting apps, you can set limits to limit usage. Open Settings and tap Screen Time > Downtime and enable it. You can now set times when you can use specific apps or all apps on your iPhone or iPad.
You can’t set downtime limits for individual apps, but instead, Apple has intelligently grouped similar apps together. There are categories like Games, Entertainment, Social, etc. To limit app usage across different categories instead of showing the entire iPhone inaccessible, go to Settings > Time usage time > App Limits > Add Limit.
You can whitelist certain essential apps like phone or messages. If your device’s life ends and you need to use an app in an emergency, you can borrow more time and use it temporarily. The idea is to build good habits and exercise control using these signs.
2. DND (Do Not Disturb)
A very handy feature that you can quickly activate from the Control Center itself. When you enable DND, all incoming calls, messages, and notifications are muted. I say, good puzzle.
No notifications mean no disturbances, which means you can do what you’re supposed to do while in bed; sleep. You can also schedule DND to automatically activate depending on when you fall asleep. It is important to have a sleep schedule and stick to it.
You can add important numbers to Favorites that will not be muted in DND mode. You don’t want to miss those emergencies, do you?
3. Dark and Night Mode
The blue light your phone’s screen emits can be harmful in a number of ways. In the long run, not only does it lead to poor eyesight, but it also leads to lack of sleep. Blue light makes it harder to fall asleep. That’s why most smartphones now have Night Mode, including iPhones.
Open Settings > Display & Brightness and you can set Night Shift there. Experiment with the screen’s warmth to find a spot that’s easy for you to see and schedule it. You can set start and stop times, or let iPhone decide when you turn on Night Mode based on sunset and sunrise. The following options include granting location permissions and enabling GPS.
This is one of my favorite iOS sleep settings. Open the Clock from the Control Center and you’ll see a Bedtime tab. What is this? Bedtime will gently wake you up with soothing and ambient sounds. You say, that won’t help me sleep in the first place. I know but Bedtime will also track your sleep habits and hours spent in bed. These data points will help you understand how well you slept, whether you got enough sleep (8 hours is considered a good sign of health) and how you can improve it.
The data is then stored in the Apple Health app. If you are actively using that app, you should do so, you can learn a lot about your body. Bedtime will ask you how many hours you want to sleep, remind you when it’s time, dim the light on your phone screen to give visual cues, and choose alarm sounds like birdsong among others . These sounds are much better than being woken up by the shrill sounds that most alarm clocks come with. Imagine waking up to people shouting at you, and then imagine waking up to someone singing to you.
Don’t forget to set Bedtime on autopilot by scheduling the days and times of the week it will run.
Sleep Settings on iOS
Apple has done a commendable job of coming up with some settings aimed at improving sleep quality. The quality of sleep is decreasing day by day and smartphones are the main cause behind it. However, this is something within our control and if we are diligent, we can control it, reducing the problems associated with lack of sleep.