World Sleep Day: 3 tips from Apple to get a good night’s sleep

In case you didn’t realise, today is World Sleep Day! For many of us, of course, sleep is a precious commodity, and it’s something that can often be neglected in the fast-paced whirlwind of daily life. According to the National Sleep Foundation, healthy adults require between seven to nine hours of sleep per night, while babies, young children, and teens need even more time asleep for proper growth and development.

Technology, meanwhile, has continued to grow to serve the fitness and health community—and a big part of that is the continued development of wearables. A smartwatch is probably the easiest way to track your sleep, and one of the best smartwatch operating systems you can find today is the Apple Watch (click on the hyperlink to read my review of the Series 6).

With that in mind, here are a couple of tips to get a good night’s rest tonight using your Apple devices—and for future nights, too.

Personalised sleep schedules

The Apple Watch automatically tracks your sleep, and you can create personalised schedules and a bedtime routine to ensure that you meet your sleep goals everyday. All you need to do here is to open up the Health app on your iPhone, and track your progress over an extended period of time. For each schedule, you can tweak these details:

  • A sleep goal (how many hours of sleep you want to get)
  • What time you want to go to bed and wake up
  • An alarm sound to wake you up
  • When to turn on sleep mode, which limits distractions before you go to bed and protects your sleep after you’re in bed
  • Sleep tracking, which uses your motion to detect sleep when Apple Watch is in sleep mode and worn to bed
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You can also make these changes directly on the Sleep app on your Apple Watch.

Wind Down

One of the most common pieces of advice for a good night’s sleep is to set away your electronic devices before heading to bed. In that train of thought, you can set wind down shortcuts on your iPhone with a routine to help you relax and… well, wind down before getting some shut-eye.

Here’s how to manage the shortcuts:

  1. Open the Health app and tap Sleep.
  2. Tap a schedule in Full Schedule & Options.
  3. Tap Wind Down Shortcuts.
  4. Tap Add a Shortcut or Add Another Shortcut if you’ve previously added one.
  5. Tap an app, then tap the Add button to add the shortcut. You can also tap Show Apps from the App Store to find and add new apps.

You can also remove the shortcuts with a similar process:

  1. Open the Health app and tap Sleep.
  2. Tap a schedule in Full Schedule & Options.
  3. Tap Wind Down Shortcuts.
  4. Tap the Remove button.

Analyse your sleep history on your iPhone

Now that you’ve set up your tracking and whatnot, equally as important is the analysis of your sleep history. It’s helpful to regularly look into your sleeping patterns to ensure that you’re getting regular shut-eye, although it’s worth mentioning here that Apple’s sleep tracking functionality does not include detailed sleep stage analysis. This is somewhat of a disappointment, with folks like Fitbit and even Xiaomi offering more detailed metrics.

Regardless, you can access your history on the Health app on your iPhone. Tap on Browse at the bottom of the screen, and tap Sleep. This metric charts your Time in Bed, with average Time in Bed and Time Asleep information also available. Essentially, this will give you a better overall idea on how much time you’re spending in bed—without falling asleep.

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You should also note that the Apple Watch Series 6—the latest and greatest from the company—only has a rated battery life of up to 18 hours on a single charge. This means that you’ll also need to time your charging routine around your sleep cycle, so you can turn on Charging Reminders on your iPhone. Open the My Watch app, and tap on Sleep. Click Charging Reminders, and your Apple Watch will remind you to charge it before the Wind Down routine begins.

Another tip is to make sure that you’re wearing your Apple Watch properly, as a good fit is needed for the accelerometer in the wearable to gauge when you are actually sleeping. Plus, you’ll need to make sure that both your Apple Watch and iPhone are updated to the latest versions available to get full access to the features discussed above.

Have a good night’s sleep, everyone!

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