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Using the Bedtime Timer in iOS 10

If you’re like me, and you’re bad at going to bed when you should, iOS 10 has a feature that could help. The Clock app now features a Bedtime timer to help you figure out when bedtime should be, remind you to go to bed, and track how much sleep you get.

First, open the Clock app and go to the Bedtime screen. Tap Get Started and set a wake-up time.

Next, select on which days you’d like to be woken up. Perhaps you like to sleep in on weekends, but if I don’t wake up at the same time every day, my sleep schedule gets all out of whack. Then select how many hours of sleep you’d like every night — the National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours.

Your next step is to select when to be reminded to go to bed — 15 minutes before bedtime is the default. Then pick a wake-up sound — Early Riser is the default, and you can tap each sound to hear it.

Finally, Clock will tell you about how it tracks your sleep and shares the sleep data with the Health app. You can find your sleep data in Health > Health Data by tapping the large Sleep button at the top. I find the Health data display largely incomprehensible, but maybe you can make some sense of it.

To adjust the Bedtime timer later, return to the Bedtime screen in the Clock app. A neat circular bar lets you change your sleep (moon icon) and wake (bell icon) times — drag an icon to adjust its time.

Tap Options in the upper left to change your alarm days, bedtime reminder, wake up sound, and alarm volume.

When you’ve set everything, your iPhone will notify you with an alarm 15 minutes before it’s time to go to bed, or whatever you’ve set as your bedtime reminder time. Tap Going to Bed Now or Remind in 10 Min to dismiss the alarm.

The Bedtime timer sets its own alarm for waking you up in the morning, so you don’t need to set one in the Alarm screen unless you need to make sure you’re up at a particular time.

Hopefully, the Bedtime timer will help you manage your sleep better. I’d like to say that it has done so for me, but all too often, my best intentions are trampled by book deadlines or the call of my PlayStation 4.

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