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How to sleep with your iPhone.

Oops. I didn’t mean for that to sound so kinky. I’m just tired.

How to sleep with your iPhone.


Oops. I didn’t mean for that to sound so kinky. I’m just tired. Because for a while I’ve been trying to get my iPhone to wake me up with a resounding alarm, yet stay quiet all night to let me sleep.

I kept waking up to a random tweet, then sleeping though a whisper-quiet alarm. It’s almost enough to make a guy reach for a blackberry with it’s jet-cockpit like notification settings. Almost. But after some fidgeting, I finally figured out the correct incantation to get my iPhone to behave.

1. Turn your ringer up.

I know that sounds crazy. But trust me. The ringer volume is the only way I’ve found to control the volume of the alarm. So you need to crank it up in order to make your morning meeting on time. Also, unplug your headphones so your alarm plays over the phone’s speaker.

2. Switch to vibrate

Put your phone into vibrate mode. Now all your emails, calls, and txts won’t make any sound. Well, except for that bzzzzz vibrating sound. So if that’s going to bug you, try putting your phone in a cradle or on something soft.

3. Extra credit: Do not disturb

It’s a pain to get to the do not disturb setting every night, but it’s worth it if you want more control. I used to think this was just a simple on/off switch, but if you dig deeper into Settings > Notifications you’ll get the reward of some advanced options. I use the schedule to turn off notifications during the night. So if I somehow forget to switch my phone into vibrate, I’ve got an extra backup.


I feel like a real oldster writing about iPhone settings. But this poorly designed UI has ruined enough nights and mornings for my friends, that I figured it was worth sharing a few tips.

If you’re looking for other ways to improve your relationship with your phone, check out my friend Jake’s great article on The Distraction-Free iPhone. (His path was too extreme for me, but well worth the read.)