how to wind down and wake up
I’m the type of sleeper that when woken up abruptly my mood is less favorable than when I wake up on my own or am woken up gently. My heart races, I’m disoriented, and generally feeling jolted awake. I’m certain this is the case for most of us who use the traditional default alarm sounds/settings on our smartphones. Doubling up my daily alarm in conjunction with my fiance’s (where he tends to get up for “dawn patrol” in the Wasatch Mountains for a casual 4 AM hike up a mountain & powder surf), I was beginning to experience 2X fire alarm level alerts during the mornings of my work week. It was awful.
After reading “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker, I learned that the sleep gained right before waking up, after a long night of Deep & REM sleep cycles, is where we gain our most restful sleep. Continual interruptions and unfavorable loud and blunt alarms compounded over the weeks of winter and I found myself exhausted during the workdays and without the stamina to provide me the energy to tackle post-work exercise or activity. I was at the end of my rope and in search of a better way to wind down & wake up.
Thankfully I had overheard a conversation regarding the “Sleep” tool on the iPhone that is special for supporting your sleep routine and ensuring you get a full 8 (or however many you are targeting) hours of sleep a night. The best part? You choose the gentle nudging, gradually increasing tone that pulls you out of your slumber to greet the day with an “I woke up on the right side of the bed” mentality.
Before using “Sleep”, I would lay awake for hours each night mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and TikTok or reading emails or searching for cute Airbnb. You name it, I was probably doing it. There’s a “wind down” functionality in this app that essentially notifies you it’s time to put the tech away and allow your mind to calm down, quiet the chatter & screen time and prepare for restful sleep.
Lastly—and this was important where many of our friends and family are back East and we’re in UT in mountain standard time—it deploys an automatic “Do Not Disturb” feature during your “sleep mode” that ensures the pings and dings of DM’s getting sent your way (early-check-in phone calls from the parents, or e-mail notifications) don’t wake you up before you’re ready.
Since switching to Sleep, we both enjoy waking up early to the gentle tones after a un-disrupted, tech free night of achieving the best sleep possible.
10/10 would recommend it to a friend. This article is not sponsored by Apple (though I wish it was).