Unfortunately, most of us don’t have our alarms hooked up to a mechanical hand to slap us awake. And without it, the answer to waking up easily is to achieve a higher quality of sleep.
But for as much good as smartphones do, they often get a lot of blame for sleep issues today. Of course, there’s always two sides to every story — and there are a few ways that your iPhone can actually improve your sleep. Here are a few ways your iPhone can help you sleep better.
3. Night Shift
First introduced in iOS 9.3, Night Shift is a nifty little feature that’s scientifically proven to help you sleep better.
According to recent studies, exposure to blue light before bed could actually shift your body’s natural circadian rhythm — and even suppress melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall asleep at an appropriate time. All of this results in overall poorer sleep time and quality. Of course, the easier solution is just to turn off your device and refrain from using it a few hours before bed. But let’s admit it: that’s hard.
Luckily, Night Shift could help with that. The feature actually changes the color temperature of the iPhone’s display to reduce the amount of blue light emitted. This gives the iPhone a warmer hue, and “may help you get a better night’s sleep,” according to Apple. Learn more about Night Shift, here.
How to Turn on Night Shift
Simply swipe-up from the bottom of the home screen to access the Control Center.
Then tap Night Shift.
By default, Night Shift should be set to turn on automatically at a certain time. To edit that time (and the time it turns off)..
Go to Settings.
Tap Display & Brightness.
Tap Night Shift.
If you have trouble getting to bed at a decent hour and tracking how much sleep you actually get, Bedtime is here to help. Recently introduced in iOS 10, Bedtime is a sleep-tracking feature that connects to Apple’s Health app. And it does a few different things that could help you adjust to a new (and healthier) sleep cycle.
First of all, Bedtime allows you to set a wake-up time (like the alarm does). Nothing special there. But, Bedtime also lets you input how much sleep you want to get via a radial dial — and then recommends a time to be in bed by. The app also lets you set when you want to be reminded to hit the hay — via time intervals — which is great for night owls who have trouble getting to bed at a decent hour. Bedtime also lets you track your sleep via a new panel in the Health app — as consistency is key.
While Apple’s proprietary sleep-related apps are great, there are a plethora of third-party options that could help you sleep better. For example, Relax Melodies is an app that generates calming white or fan noise, as well as other relaxing sleep sounds and melodies. White noise has been found to actually help people sleep — and there are quite a few of us who can attest to that fact. Apps like Relax Melodies are especially useful if you don’t want to run a fan all night, or if you’re in a hotel room or similar place where that’s not an option.
Similarly, numerous studies have shown that a regular mindfulness meditation practice can actually fight insomnia and significantly improve sleep. An app like Calm has plenty of guided meditations to get you started. As an added bonus, Calm also features so-called Sleep Stories — a modern mindful rift on a child’s bedtime story, but tailor-made for all ages.