Several years of research have been done on the effects that smartphones can have on our sleep quality. The famous “blue light” emitted by touchscreens can interfere with sleep patterns. The dangers of watching a series or your social networks just before going to sleep have also been pointed out.
However, there is a way that these smartphones are our ideal nighttime companion, using them to help us improve our sleep routine. If you have an iPhone you should know that you can use your smartphone to track your sleep hours. If you want to use this function you have to know that its abilities to monitor your sleep are not as sophisticated as those of the Apple Watch Series 6, but it can help you to get a clearer idea of how long you are asleep each night.
How can I track my sleep with the iPhone?
The first thing we have to check is that we are using iOS 14 or later since from this software version we can set the time we go to bed in the Health application, set different goals, and track our sleep.
Here’s how to configure Sleep in the Health app:
- Open the Health app and scroll down the screen until you see a symbol of a bed with the words Set Sleep. Click now to Start
- Next, you will get a tab (if it is the first time you use it) explaining the different options that you can configure in this application. Click where it says Next.
- In the next tab that appears, we must establish a dream goal. Using the symbols “+” and “-” we can adjust the default sleep hours on our device, which is 8 hours. Once we have configured it we have to click Next.
- Now we have to define our first schedule. Above we have to indicate the active days, that is, the days that, so to speak, we get up earlier to work. To mark or unmark a day we just have to press it. Let’s imagine that we only want to mark the days from Monday to Friday, the circles with the letters LMXJ and V should be blue. Under the active days, we find a kind of clock where we have to mark the time to go to bed and wake up. With this, the iPhone will generate a reminder and an alarm to notify you. We can adjust the time by moving the icon of the bed or the little bell. If we have adjusted our sleep hours to 8 hours and you adjust it to, for example, sleep only 7 hours, you will notice that that line turns orange. Finally, we have the alarm options where we can first adjust if we want an alarm clock or not and what sound we want to put on it. When we are done we have to click on Add at the top right.
- We are almost finished, now you will get a tab with a summary about your schedules where we can edit what we have just done or add a schedule for the other days that we had not selected as active days. Now click Next.
- Finally, you will get information about the Sleep Mode, where the Do not disturb mode will be activated automatically when you go to sleep. We can Activate the Sleep mode or give Skip if we do not want this automation. In Settings,> Do Not Disturb we can allow incoming calls from certain people while the iPhone is in this mode. And in the next tab with another summary, we click OK to finish.
- If you don’t have an Apple Watch, you would stay in the previous step. If you have one, you will get another tab to Control sleep with Apple Watch. Your watch can control how long you sleep and wake you up to a quieter alarm where it will gently vibrate. You can click Activate or Ignore.
- In the next tab with another summary, we click OK to finish.
View your sleep data
Once you have configured your sleep hours in the Health app, the iPhone will begin to monitor it. It won’t detect if you wake up in the middle of the night to drink a glass of water or go to the bathroom. It will only tell you when you went to bed and when you woke up (when you pick up the phone again). Little by little it will generate graphics that will help you see how much you have been sleeping every day.
- When you have used it for a few days, go to the Health application and tap on the Explore tab at the bottom right.
- Now look again for the icon of the bed with the text Dream and click on it.
Now you can see the graphs that we were talking about earlier. In this menu, you can also add data, view the week or month, or edit your schedule. At the bottom, Apple will give you some tips to get more out of the Health app.
If you don’t have iOS 14 or higher, don’t worry, you can use apps from the AppStore to track your sleep that works the same way. Remember that in Settings you can also change everything you have adjusted in the Health app.