How To Use Sleep Mode On An Apple Watch

The Apple Watch provides users with a wide array of useful features, including Sleep Mode, which is designed to help users improve their sleep quality and gain control over their schedule. But in some circumstances or situations, you might need to disable the Sleep Mode feature.

You can manually enable Sleep mode on the Apple Watch or your paired iPhone from the Control Center. The feature will automatically activate if you have a sleep schedule enabled. You can adjust more settings from the Sleep tab in the Settings menu on your Apple Watch.

Sleep Mode is very useful for setting alarms, meeting sleep goals, and tracking your sleep quality. There are a few things to keep in mind while using it. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

How to Set a Sleep Schedule on Your iPhone

Male hand with a wrist smart apple watch

Setting a sleep schedule on your iPhone or Apple Watch can help you hit your sleep goals. Here’s how to do it:

  1. From your iPhone, open the Apple Health app.
  2. Click the ‘Browse‘ section located near the bottom-right corner of the app.
  3. Scroll downwards and click ‘Sleep.’
  4. Hit ‘Sleep Schedule‘ beneath ‘Your Schedule.’
  5. If ‘Sleep Schedule‘ is disabled, select the switch to toggle it on. You’ll know the feature is enabled when the toggle is green.
  6. Click the blue circles beneath ‘Days Active‘ to remove Sleep Schedule settings on a day of the week.
  7. Drag your sleep block and extend it around the clock icon with your finger. Doing so will set your sleep goals, bedtime, and wake-up times.
  8. Scroll down to show the Alarm options. You can enable or disable the feature with the switch next to ‘Wake Up Alarm.’ You can decide the type of vibration and sound with the ‘Sound & Haptics‘ options. You can also adjust the volume with the slider and enable snooze settings with the ‘Snooze‘ button.
  9. Click ‘Add‘ by the right-hand corner when finished.
  10. You can add another schedule for different days of the week by selecting ‘Add Schedule for Other Days.’ You can customize your sleep schedule with the steps above.

Note: You’ll see a ‘Get Started‘ button if this is the first time you’re creating a Sleep Schedule in the Health App. You’ll need to select this button and follow the prompts before you can customize the settings fully.

How Do You Turn On Sleep Mode on an Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch (on Amazon) has a built-in sleep tracker to help you record your sleep data. However, the Apple Watch needs to have watchOS 7 or later installed to use the app.

To use the software, you’ll need an Apple Watch Series 3 or later and an iPhone 6s or later using iOS 14 or higher.

You can launch the Watch app on your iPhone and select ‘Software Update‘ from the General tab. This section will let you know if your software is out-of-date and needs an upgrade. You can use the following steps to manually enable Sleep Mode on an Apple Watch:

  1. Swipe upwards on the Apple Watch to access the Control Center.
  2. Click the crescent moon-shaped Focus button to enable Sleep Mode. (The Focus icon used to be labeled Do Not Disturb.)

How to Manually Change Sleep Mode

You can manually adjust Sleep Mode and the settings from the Apple Watch or iPhone. Here’s how:

How to Manually Change Sleep Mode on iPhone

  1. Sleep Mode will activate automatically depending on your Sleep Schedule settings. You can toggle the feature on or off manually from the iPhone Control Center.
  2. From the Control Center, click the bed-shaped icon to manually turn on Sleep Mode.
  3. You can disable the feature on your iPhone by selecting ‘Dismiss‘ from your Lock screen.

How to Manually Change Sleep Mode on Apple Watch

  1. The steps on the Apple Watch are similar to the iPhone. You’ll need to toggle Sleep Mode by using the Control Center on the Apple Watch.
  2. From the Control Center, click the bed-shaped icon to manually turn on or turn off Sleep Mode.
  3. You can disable Sleep Mode on the Apple Watch by turning the Digital Crown until you see the normal watch face appear.

Sleep Mode Options

The Apple Watch has several different functions with the Sleep Mode or Sleep Focus app. You can develop personalized sleep schedules that can increase your sleep health.

You can set multiple routines if you need a schedule for the weekend or weekdays. Some Sleep Mode options you can use include:

  • Develop personalized Sleep Mode goals
  • Determine sleep times and wake-up times
  • Determine personalized alarm notifications and sounds
  • Enable Sleep Focus to minimize distractions at night and dim the screen
  • Measure your Sleep habits to read your trends and habits

Sleep Mode provides you with measurements and trends from the past two weeks. You can view your sleep quality, trends, and see what’s working.

You might be prompted to charge your device before bed if it doesn’t have more than 30 percent battery charge. You can also check the display in the morning to see if you need to charge your device for the day ahead.

Change Sleep Mode Options

You’ll need to launch the Settings app from the Apple Watch to adjust the options. Click ‘Sleep‘ to adjust the following settings:

  • Enable at Wind Down: The Sleep Focus settings will activate at the bed time you selected in the Sleep software. You can manually control, activate, or disable the Sleep Focus setting from the Control Center.
  • Sleep Screen: You can adjust the Sleep Screen as well. By default, the Sleep Screen simplifies the Apple Watch face and iPhone Lock Screen to minimize distractions.
  • Show Time: You can enable or disable whether your devices show the date and time while Sleep Focus is enabled.  

Enable Sleep Tracking and Charging Reminders

You can also enable Sleep Tracking and Charging Reminders from the Sleep Mode options menu. The Apple Watch will track your Sleep and record the data on the Health app when Sleep Tracking is enabled.

The Apple Watch will notify you to charge your device before winding down and remind you when it’s fully charged if Charging Reminders is enabled.

You can adjust these sleep settings from your iPhone. Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, select My Watch, and then click ‘Sleep‘ to adjust the features.

Review Your Sleeping Respiratory Rate

Woman using smartwatch with e-mail notifier

The Apple Watch can measure your breathing rate while you sleep, as long as you have watchOS 8 installed. Your sleeping respiratory rate can provide you with a better understanding of your overall well-being. You’ll need to wear the Apple Watch to sleep and use the following steps:

  1. Launch the Health software from your iPhone, click ‘Browse,’ then select ‘Respiratory.’
  2. Click ‘Respiratory Rate‘ and click ‘Show More Respiratory Rate Data.’
  3. The Sleep record will show the scope of your breathing rate while you sleep.

Note: The Respiratory Rate tracking data is not designed for medical use and does not replace proper medical care.