For many years now, getting enough sleep has always been a challenge for me. And while I try my best to follow a schedule, it never works out as I’m usually staying up to meet tight deadlines, binge-watch a Netflix series or simply because I’ve lost track of time scrolling through social media. Plus, the past lockdowns have messed it up even further – yikes! As a result, I’m constantly tired all day and can’t wait to crawl back into bed the moment I wake up.

But when Apple introduced the Sleep feature on the Health app, I decided to give it a go on my iPhone in hopes of going to bed on time. To my surprise, it actually helped thanks to the mini reminders that prepared me for bed. Since then, I’ve been dozing off early and on time more than I’ve been staying up late, so I’d count it as a success!

With World Sleep Day being celebrated today, I thought it would be quite fitting to give you the scoop on how this feature works so that you can turn your sleep patterns around and hopefully set your very own sleep goals today. So if you’ve got an iPhone or a watchOS 7, find out how you can make use of your devices to doze off within minutes.

Schedule your bedtime

Start by scheduling what time to head to bed on your Health app on the iPhone or the Sleep app on the watchOS 7. You can also personalise your routine by setting a custom alarm, sleep length, Wind Down reminder and shortcuts to help you reach your sleep goals.

How to set up Sleep on your iPhone and Apple Watch:

1. In your Health app on your iPhone, tap Browse on the bottom right corner and then Sleep.

2. Below Set Up Sleep, tap the Get Started button and follow the instructions.

3. On your Apple Watch, open the Sleep app and follow the instructions.

Customise your routine

With the help of Wind Down, preparing for bedtime is much easier and simplified! Once you enable the feature, you have the option to add shortcuts such as journaling your thoughts in Notes, listening to music or using a meditation app to help you relax, or even planning for the next day with a planner app.

Track your sleep progress

Whether on your iPhone or watchOS 7, you’re able to track your history and view your sleep trend by month or day. If you wear your watch to bed, it’ll sense your motion with signals from the accelerometer to detect and track your sleeping patterns. Otherwise, your iPhone will do the job by analysing when you leave or pick up and use your iPhone via Time in Bed.

Photography: Apple

If you need extra help falling asleep or want to monitor your slumber even further, try adding these apps into your Wind Down shortcuts:

Sleep by Max Richter

Whenever my mind starts racing as I’m trying to sleep, I usually open this app as it plays the most calming music to help me relax. Plus it’s got amazing imagery of planets in the background so that’s another win for me! Choose from Sleep, Meditate, Focus or Journal to get your thoughts in order before bedtime.

Sleep Cycle – Sleep Tracker

This app tracks your sleeping patterns and gently wakes you up when you’re at your lightest sleep stage. With the help of your phone’s microphone and the accelerometer, the app uses sound analysis and senses your movements in bed which then helps you understand your sleep better. Aside from that, it’s also got bedtime stories and relaxing tunes to help you hit dreamland sooner.

Breethe: Meditation & Sleep

If your sleep is affected by stress and anxiety, this app may help set them aside during bedtime or even in the day. With an array of exercises to soothe your mind from guided meditations to stories and peaceful music, this app is all about improving your mental health for a better quality of life.

Featured image: Chris Abney/Unsplash

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