I have a new Apple Watch Series 6. It's very nice.

Last night, before going upstairs to bed, I looked at it, and it was blank. I thought maybe it had run out of battery so I tapped it and a very (and I mean very) faint image of the time appeared, but it was not my clock face - it was just the time in large (very faint) numbers in the top right. I tapped it again and a (very faint) icon and a message appeared, and then disappeared after about a second or so. I tapped it again and the same happened. The message was so tiny, so faint, and so brief that it took me about five or six minutes to finally read it. It said, "Turn Digital Crown to unlock watch" (or something similar).

Searching for this message returns result after result about ejecting water, but the message said nothing about water, I don't remember a "water drop icon filling up" as I rotated the crown, and I don't remember any tones playing (which is how I think the water is ejected). Also, I'd been sat on the sofa for most of the evening - nowhere near water. Rotating the crown restored normal functionality (and I didn't have to enter my passcode).

I'm confused for two reasons:

  1. because I don't know why it was locked
  2. because the message was so damn hard to read.

This second is baffling me. The message was so faint that I had to turn off all the lights in the room to read it, and even then it was so small that I could barely read it without my glasses (which I generally only wear for VDU work). Given that there was nothing else on the screen, why would an important message like this be so small and difficult to read?

I imagine this might have been something to do with my Bedtime (Sleep Schedule) settings in my phone, which would have activated by this time, but I can't find any information on this because every search result I find keeps talking about water!

Any idea what was happening?

1 Answer 1


This is related to the sleeping mode. The sleeping mode "locks" the watch and turns the brightness down a lot so that the watch does not disturb you during your sleep.

You can change your sleep shedule right on the watch.

To do this, follow these steps:

  • Open the Sleep app on your Apple Watch.

  • Tap Full Schedule, then do one of the following:

    • Change a sleep schedule: Tap the current schedule.
    • Add a sleep schedule: Tap Add Another Schedule.
    • Change your sleep goal: Tap Sleep Goal, then set the amount of time you want to sleep.
    • Change Wind Down time: Tap Wind Down, then set the amount of time you want sleep mode to be active before bedtime.

    To reduce distractions before your scheduled bedtime, sleep mode turns on during Wind Down. Sleep mode turns off the watch display and turns on Do Not Disturb.

  • Do any of the following:

    • Set the days for your schedule: Tap your schedule, then tap the area below Active On. Choose days, then tap Done.
    • Adjust your wake time and bedtime: Tap Wake Up or Bedtime, turn the Digital Crown to set a new time, then tap Set.
    • Set the alarm options: Turn Alarm off or on and tap Sound to choose an alarm sound.
    • Remove or cancel a sleep schedule: Tap Delete Schedule (at the bottom of the screen) to remove an existing schedule, or tap Cancel (at the top of the screen) to cancel creating a new one.

You can also disable automatic sleep mode in the watch settings app:

Taps sleep and tap Sleep Mode, then turn off this option to manually control sleep mode in Control Center.

  • 1
    Checks out, thanks. I have to say, though - that message that appears on the screen is virtually unreadable. Jul 1, 2021 at 11:49
  • Yes, I had the same "issue". But it's made so that you will barely be able to read it in completely dark rooms.
    – Ant
    Jul 1, 2021 at 11:54

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