I love Google Calendar. I use it constantly to set reminders and to keep track of my schedule. The two features I like the most are:
- It’s easy to set recurring events, and edit them in one action.
- You can get free SMS reminders about any event, any time.
Recently I’ve been using both of these to improve my sleep habits. How? By setting a recurring daily ‘go to bed!’ event that sends me an SMS text message at around 11pm each day.
It’s great because it can snap me out of whatever work or activity I might be doing, and give me a little reminder that I really ought to be winding down for the night. Sometimes I ignore it because I’ve really got to get on with something, but most of the time it helps me keep my sleep regular, which is really important for healthy sleep.
The other cool thing about this technique is that if you have a smart-phone, especially an Android phone, you can set up a calendar widget on your home screen. When you’ve got a ‘go to bed’ event set each night, the calendar widget will display it all evening after your other tasks are done, so you’re constantly aware that you ought to get to bed at that time.
How do you set up a bedtime reminder on Google Calendar?
Setting up these reminders is super easy in Google Calendar. If you already have a Google account, head right over to google.com/calendar to get started with this. If not, you’ll need to register for a Google account first.
The first thing is just to click on the time slot for the time you want to go to sleep. You can start it from any day, but why not set it going from tonight?
Go through to edit that event, and you’ll get to a screen like this:
Name your event whatever you like – you might want to get creative and think of something that really will prompt you to go to bed, such as a reminder about the health benefits.
Then you’ll want to click on the check-box that says Repeat. That will bring up a small box like this:
I’ve chosen to only have my reminders come through on weekdays. This isn’t actually because I only need prompting to sleep on weekdays, but because I’ve found that if the reminders come through every single night, they become less interesting to you. Having a 2-day break each week keeps their meaning fresh.
In any case, you can set the event to recur however you’d like with this box. Once that’s done, go back to the main event screen shown above. At the bottom of that there’s a section about Reminders. You can set up email and SMS reminders for the event (you’ll need to set up your phone number in your Google Calendar for the SMS reminders).
Personally I like to just have the SMS once a night, but you may prefer a different set up. Once that’s done, you’re finished! You should now get a handy sleep reminder every night that will go some way to improving your sleep health.