How to Set up and Use Apple Watch Nightstand Mode

Use your watch as an alarm clock

Your Apple Watch isn't just a great daytime tool; it's also super useful at night. That's thanks to its Nightstand mode. Here's what you need to know when it comes to how to set up and use the Apple Watch nightstand clock mode. 

What Is the Apple Watch Nightstand Mode?

Essentially, the Apple Watch Nightstand mode turns your Apple Watch into a bedside clock. The moment you connect your Apple Watch to a charger, it goes into Nightstand mode, solely highlighting the time, date, and any alarms you have set. It then goes to sleep waiting for you to tap it whenever you need to see what time it is. 

While charging, your Apple Watch will always stay in Nightstand mode unless you press the Digital Crown or side button. For all watches before the Apple Watch Series 5, the display will be off until you touch the watch (banging your nightstand also wakes up the display).

How to Set up Apple Watch Nightstand Mode

By default, the Apple Watch Nightstand mode should be enabled. Sometimes though, for whatever reason, it's been switched off. Here's how to enable it. 

  1. On your iPhone, open the Watch app.

  2. Scroll down to General and tap it.

  3. Scroll down to Bedside Mode and toggle it on so the button is green.

    Steps for finding Bedside Mode under the Apple Watch iOS app

How to Set the Alarm on Apple Watch

In a matter of a few simple steps you can easily set an alarm on your Apple Watch turning it into a nightstand alarm clock. Here's what you need to know.

  1. Open the Alarms app on your Apple Watch.

  2. Tap Add Alarm.

  3. Turn the Digital Crown to adjust the time for the alarm.

    If your clock is set to 12-hour, remember to tap AM or PM when setting the time.

  4. Tap Set once complete. 

    Apple Watch Alarm App with steps highlighted

    The screen of your Apple Watch slowly gets brighter the nearer it gets to the alarm time.

  5. To set it to repeat on the same days every week, tap on the set alarm and you can edit how often it goes off via the Repeat button. 

    Apple Watch Edit Alarm options

How to Set Alarm on Apple Watch Using Your iPhone

If you'd prefer to set your Apple Watch alarm via your iPhone, the steps are just as simple. Here's how to set an alarm and push it through to your Apple Watch.

  1. Tap Clock on your iPhone.

  2. Set an alarm by toggling the green switch.

    Alternatively, you can create a new alarm by tapping the plus sign.

  3. Open the Watch app. 

  4. Scroll down to Clock.

  5. Toggle Push Alerts From iPhone so it's green. 

    Screenshots of the Apple Watch app on iPhone

Tips and Tricks for Apple Watch Nightstand Mode

  • If you want to switch the alarm off from Nightstand mode, press the side button.
  • If you want to snooze the alarm, press the Digital Crown to snooze it for 9 minutes.
  • When the alarm is playing, the numbers on the screen turn yellow to indicate visually that it's time to get up.