Sleep apps have been a big part of our lives for a number of years now, with apps such as Sleep Cycle tracking and analysing your sleep and waking you up when you’re in your lightest phase of sleep.
However, with the release of iOS 10 a couple of weeks ago, Apple have got in on the act themselves with a new built-in app which will not just track your sleep, but also remind you when it’s time to go to bed.
It’s one of the lesser known additions of the new update (all of those new gifs and stickers are much more exciting right?), but it’s a really great upgrade and a good one to try out if you’re unsure whether you want to go for a paid app.
What is it?
The idea is that going to bed and waking up at the same times every day are crucial to healthy sleep, and the new alarms can be found in the Clock app on iOS 10, within the new ‘Bedtime’ tab.
So how does it all work? Basically, the app uses sensors within the phone which will monitor whether you are sticking to the bedtime hours you have set yourself.
The app will set things up by quickly asking you a couple of questions such as what time you’d like to wake up, which days you need to be up for, and how many hours of sleep you would like to get.
Once it’s set up, the app will give you a dial which allows you to then adjust how much sleep you’re going to require if you need to.
The app will then give you a gentle reminder when it’s time to get off to bed, up to an hour beforehand.
These new features will also integrate with the existing ‘Health’ app to track your sleep data and give you a visual representation of your ‘Sleep History’ so you can see how well you’re sticking to your sleep regime.
Finally, the app also has a handy feature which allows you to select the volume of your alarm, separately to that of the rest of your phone, something which has surprisingly been lacking in previous iterations.
How it stacks up
The app is certainly useful to give a try, especially as it’s free. It’s a good way to try and train yourself into more of a routine, as the biggest problem that most of us face is actually remembering to get themselves to bed at a decent hour, something which the app tackles.
So let’s say you’re about to stick on the next episode of that box-set you’re binging, the app will send you a little reminder that it might be best to call it a night.
While this is a really helpful feature, it’s important to remember that the app doesn’t do what other apps such as Sleep Cycle do, which is analyse your sleep to wake you up just at the right time when you’re in your lightest sleep.
We reckon your best bet is to give the app a go, and if you find that it works for you, then it might be worth looking into some of the slightly more expensive options!
Make sure to keep checking our blog here at Sleepy People for all the latest sleep-related news and tips.