iOS 10 preview: keep yourself well-rested with Bedtime and Wake alarm

By , Jun 27, 2016

iOS 10 Preview Clock app Bedtime Wake alarm teaser 001

In addition to a gorgeous new dark interface, the Clock app on iOS 10 packs i a little-known but useful new feature— Bedtime and Wake alarm. With it, you can set up a regular sleep schedule to receive reminders when it’s time to hit the bed and wake up.

By making it easier than ever to create a regular sleep schedule and receive timely bedtime alerts, this feature could help the insomniac types get a good night’s sleep. With that in mind, watch our video hands-on and read a detailed preview of the new Bedtime and Wake alarm feature in iOS 10’s Clock app.

Bedtime Alarm: video hands-on

Apple spent virtually no time discussing this new feature in detail during the WWDC 2016 keynote.

Post-keynote marketing materials posted on the Apple website fail to even make a passing mention of the feature. The official iOS 10 press release only mentions that the new “Bedtime alarm in the Clock app lets you set a regular sleep schedule and receive bedtime reminders.”

My colleague Andrew O’Hara took Bedtime Alarm for a quick spin after the keynote wrapped up and has put together this nicely done video hands-on.

Don’t see the video? Watch it on YouTube!

The clip runs two minutes and 23 seconds long.

Feel free to save it for later if you don’t have the time right now to sit through the whole thing. Here’s our detailed overview of Clock’s new Bedtime and Wake alarm feature.

Meet your new tab in Clock app: Bedtime Alarm

Aside from a dark interface, you’ll notice that iOS 10’s stock Clock app hasn’t changed much with the notable exception of a brand new tab centered alongside the bottom, labeled Bedtime. Tap it and up pops a splash screen describing the new Bedtime alarm feature.

iOS 10 Clock Bedtime Alarm teaser space gray iPhone screenshot 001

It says that “going to bed and waking up at the same times every day are keys to healthy sleep”. After creating your custom sleep schedule, the app saves any results accrued from using this feature into the Health app’s database that other apps can use for sleep analysis.

It’s important to ensure that Do Not Disturb is disabled while using Bedtime alarm. If you set a scheduled Do Not Disturb mode, ensure that it does not clash with your custom sleep schedule or bedtime reminders won’t pop up.

When it’s time to hit the bed, a reminder pops up on the Lock screen.

Not ready to catch some sleep yet? No problem, just tap Remind me in 10 Min to postpone the reminder for an additional ten minutes, or tap Going to Bed Now if you’re about to get tucked in your bed.

iOS 10 Bedtime Alarm time to bed notification space gray iPhone screenshot

Postponing the reminder creates a notification informing you that the feature has been snoozed. The Lock screen Bedtime alert comes with an auto-updating countdown timer showing you the time remaining until the next alert. It’s especially cool that you can press that reminder with 3D Touch for a bigger preview of how much time is left until the next Bedtime notification.

iOS 10 Bedtime Alarm space gray notification silver iPhone screenshot

The preview also contains a handy Stop button for stopping the countdown timer. When it’s time to rise and shine, the alarm goes off. Based on your settings, the Wake alarm will use either an alarm sound or a song.

Setting up your sleep schedule

To create a custom sleep schedule, tap the Bedtime tab in the Clock app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and then tap Get Started. In a nutshell, you tell the app how much time you need to sleep and then specify the days you want the alarm to go off, the time you prefer to wake up, how early you’d like to be reminded before nap time and more.

iOS 10 Clock Bedtime Alarm Sleep History bars space gray iPhone screenshot 001

The app takes it from there, creating a custom sleep schedule based on your input and setting up appropriate reminders. You can change your Bedtime and Wake options at any time without starting over from scratch.

For every day that you went to bed and woke up, the app creates a bar in your Sleep History. Gaps in the vertical bar denote breaks in your sleep cycle. You can also see if you went to bed a little early or too late, or slept too much or too little.

“Keep your Sleep History bars aligned by going to bed and walking up at the same times every day,” reads the feature’s description.

Customizing your sleep schedule

Apple has done a terrific job creating a fresh new interface for adjusting your sleep schedule with a circular slider in increments of five minutes (make note of AM/PM when dragging those handles to ensure that the correct times are set.

iOS 10 Bedtime Alarm adjusting sleep wake times space gray iPhone screenshot 001

Right below the circular interface sits a graph giving you an at-a-glance overview of the current week’s sleep analysis, as depicted by the Sleep History bars. The goal is to keep the bars aligned by going to bed and waking up at the same times you specified.

You can customize your sleep schedule by tapping Options to pick specific days of the week, set how far ahead of nap time you wish to be reminded, adjust the alarm volume or elect to wake up to a song from your Music library.

Adjusting days of the week

Your sleep schedule can exclude certain days of the week. For example, I typically shut off my bedtime and wake alarms on Saturday and Sunday because my sleeping patterns are different over the weekend than they are from Monday to Friday.

iOS 10 Bedtime Alarm adjusting days space gray iPhone screenshot 001

To adjust the days of the week when you’d like to use your Bedtime and Wake alarm, tap Options and then tap circular icons to enable or disable the days they denote.  The icon turns orange if the feature has been enabled for that particular day. Tap again to disable the day (the icon turns gray).

Setting how far ahead of bedtime to be reminded

I prefer to receive nap time reminders ahead of the time because I’m not ready to hit the bed the instant I receive my Bedtime notification. You might want to brush your teeth when it’s time to go to bed, other people prefer to take a shower or grab a quick snack and what have you.

iOS 10 Bedtime Alarm adjusting reminder space gray iPhone screenshot 001

On the Options screen, you can choose how far ahead you’d like to be reminded about nap time: at bedtime, 15 minutes before, 30 minutes before, 45 minutes before and one hour before bedtime.

Choosing your wakeup sound or song

The default alarm sound for this feature is Radar, but you can select any stock ringtone or custom ones you’ve synced to the device. If you’re foolish enough to buy pricey ringtones from Apple, tapping Buy More Tones will take you to the Ringtones section in the iTunes Store.

iOS 10 Bedtime Alarm pick song sapce gray iPhone screenshot 001.png

To use a song instead of a ringtone, tap Pick a Song.

The contents of your Music library pops up in an overlay. Select a song to use as the wake alarm sound and you’re good to go. Apple Music subscribers can also select any song in their library. If the chosen Apple Music track isn’t marked for offline listening, it will be downloaded first to your device so that it can be played to you when it’s time to wake up.

Adjusting alarm volume

To adjust the volume for the Wake alarm, drag the volume slider on the Options screen.

Disabling Wake alarm

You can disable your custom Bedtime and Wake alarm schedule by sliding the Wake Alarm switch at the top of the interface to the OFF position. For instance, you might want to disable the feature if you know tomorrow’s going to be a hectic day, you’ll be staying up late and so forth.

iOS 10 Bedtime Alarm disable space gray iPhone screenshot 001

Disabling the Wake alarm does not delete your schedule.

In fact, you cannot create multiple sleep schedules and switch between them on the fly, nor can you delete the schedule once it’s created. Sliding the Wake Alarm switch back to the ON position will re-enable the Bedtime and Wake alarm feature based on your custom sleep schedule.

Bedtime Alarm and Health data

When used on a regular basis, Bedtime and Wake alarm features help iOS perform an analysis of your sleep. The Health app has supported Sleep Analysis data since iOS 9 so it goes without saying that the Clock app writes that data right into Health’s database for easy sharing with other health and fitness-focused apps.

Tapping More History at the bottom of the Bedtime feature’s interface will instantly take you to the Health app with a detailed overview of your Sleep Analysis data and history.

Other Apple technologies to keep you well rested

Night Shift, a feature that debuted in iOS 9.3, alters the warmth of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch display to reduce the amount of blue light, which can keep some people awake longer than necessary.

And the 9.7-inch iPad Pro features a new Apple technology called True Tone, designed to tap into a pair of four-channel ambient light sensors to measure the color temperature of ambient light and adjust the display settings to color-match your environment.

More iDB previews

We’ve made it a mission to dive deep into Apple’s upcoming software updates to inform you of both major new features you’ll care about and the little things that’ll delight you.

Here are our iOS 10, macOS Sierra, tvOS 10 and watchOS 3 previews:

More previews will be added to the list as they become available.

Want us to focus on specific features?

Shoot us a quick message at

iOS 10 availability

iOS 10 is available to members of the Apple Developer Program and will launch to public beta testers signed on the Apple Beta Software Program in July ahead of public availability this fall.

System requirements for iOS 10 are the same as those for its predecessor, but the iPhone 4s, the original iPad mini and iPad 2 are no longer supported.

Chime in with your thoughts

Reminders for when to go to bed and when to wake up based on how much time each individual needs to sleep is a great addition to the stock Clock app in iOS 10. I’ve been using it on a regular basis since installing iOS 10 to my devices and already my sleep schedule has improved dramatically.

What are your feelings about the new Bedtime and Wake alarm feature and will you be using it when iOS 10 releases? And are you a fan of an all-dark interface in iOS 10’s Clock app?

Chime in and share your thoughts with fellow readers in the comment section below.

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  • Jason B

    Wow, so is this finally the separate alarm volume we have all been beating on Apple for? If so, it’s about time!

  • It’s a great feature, I continue to use it. But it’s in beta and there are an insane amount of bugs to be worked out. I have no doubt they’ll fix the issues though.

    • Did you report any?

      • Yep, I’ve reported 50 bugs so far on IOS 10 Beta.

    • that’s why it’s a beta. tons of bugs make the beta running devices unusable.

      • Not really unstable, but I can replicate all the bugs I’ve found so far. Pretty easy fixes on Apple’s end so I don’t doubt they’ll fix them before final release. This is beta 1 after all.

  • :D

    If it also had Sleep Cycle -like analysis and smart alarms then it would be perfect 🙂

    • I’ve heard that with a consistent-enough sleep schedule, your body will start waking up naturally before your alarm! So the same outcome as the Sleep Cycle app, just more naturally 🙂

      • :D

        That’s interesting – I have a really dodgy sleep pattern
        Maybe I should fix up

  • Avi Locke

    Does this work with the Apple Watch at all? Since getting my watch, I have stopped using my phone as an alarm clock.

  • Satyam Panchal

    Wallpaper plz

  • Gabriel Anaya

    This is by far the absolute buggiest feature of iOS 10 That I’ve experienced thus far. I can’t wait for them to fix it.

    • I haven’t had any problems with iOS 10 really; random resprings at most. I installed Beta 1 as a fresh install running on a 6S 128GB

      • Gabriel Anaya

        Overall it is surprisingly stable for a first beta. I really do mean this feature in particular is extremely buggy. iPhone 6S plus.

  • Tobias9413

    Really digging that wallpaper. Link if you could please.

  • zoLa siWisa

    This one good alarm though it is still buggy. When you snooze to sleep later, it will remind you million time. I had to reset all settings to try to get it right.

  • do i have go to bed?
    computer says no.

  • Edward Limburn

    If I turn off my device will it still wake me up?