Many Apple users have reported that Sleep Focus keeps turning itself off on their iPhones, which can be a big deal since this feature is meant to reduce distractions and help them get better quality sleep. The issue first surfaced with the iOS 16.2 update and hasn’t been fixed yet.
1. Turn off Do Not Disturb
We live in a busy world where you are constantly being bombarded by notifications, messages, calls and more. But there are times when you want to take a break from the noise and focus on getting things done. This is where Do Not Disturb mode comes in handy. It mute your phone, stops apps from running in the background and turns off the screen saver.
You can also set up a schedule to turn off the Do Not Disturb feature automatically at fixed times such as bedtime or when you are at work. This way, you can be sure that your phone isn’t accidentally turned on at a time when you shouldn’t have it.
Sleep is one of the most important activities for our mental and physical health. So it’s no surprise that people are often irritated when their iPhone wakes up in the middle of the night with notifications or starts buzzing when they are trying to get a good night’s rest. The Sleep Focus feature was added to the Apple’s iOS in the fall of 2017 and is designed to help reduce distractions before and during sleep time.
The feature enables you to silence all incoming calls and notifications except for those from emergency services, friends or family. You can also add contacts to a list of people from whom you want to receive calls and notifications when the device is in Sleep Focus mode.
While this is a great feature, many users have complained that the feature keeps turning itself off when they set their phone to Sleep mode and interrupting them in the middle of the night with notifications. While this is not a bug in the actual software, it is still annoying for those who are trying to get a good night’s sleep.
To check if your phone is in Sleep Focus mode, you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen on an iPhone with a home button or use Face ID to open Control Center. A crescent moon icon will show up if the Focus or Do Not Disturb feature is on.
2. Turn off Sleep Mode
When you’re cozy in bed, finally ready to drift off into a deep sleep, the last thing you want is for your phone to buzz and wake you up. But that’s what can happen if you enable the right settings. Unlike Do Not Disturb, which just mutes your phone, the iPhone’s Sleep Mode actually blocks access to apps and notifications. It’s a feature that Apple introduced in iOS 14 and watchOS 7 through the Health app.
The purpose of Sleep Mode is to minimize distractions so you can focus on catching some Zs. The optional Wind Down setting activates it a few hours before your scheduled bedtime. In addition to restricting access to apps, the Sleep Mode also disables your always-on display and limits how bright you can set your display. This makes it easier to transition into a full night’s rest without worrying about your phone’s screen lighting up your sleeping partner or interrupting your slumber with an urgent email from work.
If you’re someone who needs to keep an eye on time-sensitive notifications, you can create a custom notification rule in the Health app that allows certain people and apps to bypass the Sleep Mode filter. Just tap the “People” or “Apps” tab under “Allow notifications” and follow the on-screen instructions. The app you allow to get around the filter will still be able to notify you, but it will be displayed in a smaller, lower-priority window than other apps.
Sleep Mode is also integrated with the Health app’s Track Sleep function, which automatically logs the number of hours you spend asleep. However, it is important to note that the logged number of hours will only be accurate if you’re using an Apple device paired with your Health app and the Health app has the option to share data across all your devices turned on.
If you don’t plan to use Sleep Mode in the future, it might be a good idea to turn off the option in the Health app before you go to bed. To do so, launch the Health app and tap the ‘Browse’ tab. Then, select Sleep and under ‘Your Schedule’ tap the ‘Full Schedule & Options’ tile. Finally, tap the ‘Use Schedule for Focus’ toggle off.
3. Turn off Apple Watch Mirroring
When you enable Sleep Mode on your Apple Watch, it automatically dims your iPhone’s screen and hides notifications on the Lock screen when it’s time to get some rest. It also activates your Watch’s Do Not Disturb mode if you’ve set a bedtime and sleep focus schedule in the Health app on your iPhone.
But if you need to use your phone or check important apps at night, you can customize Sleep Mode to allow certain calls and alerts through. To do this, go to the Health app on your iPhone, tap Browse > Sleep, and scroll to Full Schedule & Options. Tap the switch next to Sleep Focus to turn off the feature. Other Focus mode settings are also available, including the Wind Down option (which reduces distractions before your scheduled bedtime) and screen options to simplify the iPhone’s Lock screen and display and show or hide the time.
One of the problems with Sleep Mode is that it may not always work, especially if you set it through an automation or Siri shortcut. And even if you disable it manually on your iPhone, it might come back on again later through these same shortcuts or in the wake of an alarm. To prevent this from happening, you’ll want to remove the feature as a Control Center shortcut on your iPhone.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to do. On your iPhone, swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to open Control Center. Then tap on the icon that looks like a clock to bring up the widget, then swipe down again to turn off the feature. If you want to re-enable it, you can do so by tapping on the icon again in Control Center.
If you’re worried about forgetting to turn off Sleep Mode, you can also add it to the Accessibility Shortcut menu on your iPhone. This will let you quickly open the widget by triple-clicking on the Home button or using the Digital Crown. Just make sure to enable mirroring on your Apple Watch before adding it to the shortcut menu. Otherwise, the widget won’t appear on your iPhone when you launch it.
4. Turn off Siri
As you might have guessed from the name, Sleep Focus mode is intended to help you get a good night’s rest by shutting down your phone and other apps so that you can only hear the sounds of your alarm and breathing. This feature can be quite helpful for people who suffer from insomnia or other issues that interfere with their sleeping patterns. However, you may find that this mode can also block important notifications or even calls from loved ones who need to contact you urgently. So, if you find yourself frequently missing out on essential alerts and calls because of Sleep Focus mode, you might want to consider turning it off or disabling it altogether.
The process to disable the feature is pretty simple and involves just a few taps in the Settings app on your iPhone. Once you’ve done that, you should see an option to toggle off the Sleep Focus feature in the Control Center. Just like the Do Not Disturb setting, you can also customize how the feature works by choosing a specific time to turn it off and then selecting who or what you’d like to allow notifications from during this period (if any).
Another way to prevent your iOS device from activating the feature when you need to respond to a call or notification is to enable the “Show When Sharing” option in your iCloud settings. This will ensure that Siri’s machine learning intelligence only gets shared between your own Apple devices and not with anyone else’s.
You can also fine-tune Siri’s settings by tapping the icon on your lock screen and selecting Settings -> Siri & Search. You can disable the options for Listen for Hey Siri, Show on Home Screen, Content from Apple and Suggestions from Apple. You can also choose to turn off specific Siri suggestions for certain apps by scrolling down and tapping on an app in the menu.
You can always re-enable the features that you’ve turned off in the future by opening the Control Center again and tapping the Sleep Focus option or using the feature’s schedule within the Health app. However, if you decide that you want to disable the feature permanently or have any other issues with the software, then it’s best to delete it from your phone and all of the other synced Apple devices.