Design: Similar Looks But Series 6 Has More Design Options
Both the Watch Series 6 and the SE have the same display and resolution, so youll get the same viewing experience. Theyre also water resistant so you can swim with them, and they work with Apples Solo and Braided loop bands.
The Watch Series 6, however, has more design and color choices. In addition to the standard silver, grey and gold aluminum colors, the Series 6 comes in blue and red. It also has steel and titanium variants, with different color options in both materials. Hermès, the luxury fashion company and longtime partner of Apple Watch also has new bands of its own for the Series 6.
Lastly, the Series 6 has an always-on display. Originally introduced in the Watch Series 5, it means that the display is constantly on and you dont need to raise your wrist or tap the screen to look at the time or check for notifications.
The Watch Series 6 with its new loop bands.
What Do Sleep Trackers Monitor
A wide variety of sleep trackers have hit the market, with more beingreleased all the time. Many are wearable trackers that you can strap toyour wrist. Others clip on your pillow or sit on your bedside table.
Features of these devices vary, but some common capabilities include:
- Sleep duration: By tracking the time youre inactive, the devices can record when you fall asleep at night and when you stir in the morning.
- Sleep quality: Trackers can detect interrupted sleep, letting you know when youre tossing and turning or waking during the night.
- Sleep phases: Some tracking systems track the phases of your sleep and time your alarm to go off during a period when youre sleeping less deeply. In theory, that makes it easier for you to rouse.
- Environmental factors: Some devices record environmental factors like the amount of light or temperature in your bedroom.
- Lifestyle factors: Some trackers prompt you to enter information about activities that can affect sleep, such as how much caffeine youve had, when youve eaten or whether your stress level is high.
What Does a Typical Sleep Cycle Look Like?
During a typical night, you cycle through various stages of sleep:
This cycle repeats every 90 to 110 minutes. As sleep progresses, REM cyclesincrease in length.
Apple Watch Sleep Tracking: What It Does And How To Use It
– In the latest watchOS 7 update Apple enables you to track sleep using the Apple Watch. watchOS 7 works with Apple Watch Series 3, 4, 5 and the new Apple Watch Series 6 we’re expecting. It isn’t compatible with Series 1 or 2.
Sleep tracking has been a much-wanted feature for the Apple Watch and has been available previously in third-party apps.
Now though, there is a Sleep app on the watch and it uses motion to detect your sleep time. You obviously need to be wearing your Apple Watch to track your sleep, so you’ll need to change your charging behaviour and juice up in the day. If you don’t, you’ll end up with no charge at 10am the next morning.
The good thing about Apple Watch sleep tracking is that it is set-and-forget, so your sleep will be tracked without you having to do anything. But it’s fully configurable as you’ll see.
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Setting Up Apple Watch Sleep Tracking
To begin with, users just need to open the Sleep app, which is represented by a bed icon. Once in the app, they can set up their preferred bedtime and wake-up time, with the option of setting an alarm for the latter. Tapping Full Schedule then allows users to add a new sleep schedule or change an existing one by setting a sleep goal for the desired amount of sleep and setting the amount of Wind Down time in which the Apple Watch goes into sleep mode by turning off its display and enabling Do Not Disturb mode. Schedules can be set for particular days and adjusted when required. Sleep history can be viewed by scrolling down from the home screen of the app, with the previous nights sleep shown and an average over the past 14 days.
There are a number of settings that can be adjusted to do with sleep tracking on the iPhone, including whether or not the time is shown when the Apple Watch is in sleep mode, whether and when charging reminders should be given to ensure the Watch is adequately for sleep tracking, and whether to wake up to an alarm or haptic taps. These and more can be accessed via the Settings app of the Apple Watch. There is also a version of the Sleep app for the iPhone to which a users sleep data can be synced, as well as a Night Shift feature that reduces blue light.
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Track Your Sleep With Apple Watch
With the Sleep app on Apple Watch, you can create bedtime schedules to help you meet your sleep goals. Wear your watch to bed, and Apple Watch can track your sleep. When you wake up, open the Sleep app to learn how much sleep you got and see your sleep trends over the past 14 days.
If your Apple Watch is charged less than 30 percent before you go to bed, youre prompted to charge it. In the morning, just glance at the greeting to see how much charge remains.
You can create multiple schedulesfor example, one for weekdays and another for weekends. For each schedule, you can set up the following:
A sleep goal
What time you want to go to bed and wake up
An alarm sound to wake you up
When to turn on sleep mode, which limits distractions before you go to bed and protects your sleep after youre in bed
Sleep tracking, which uses your motion to detect sleep when Apple Watch is in sleep mode and worn to bed
Tip: To exit sleep mode, first turn the Digital Crown to unlock. Then swipe up to open Control Center and tap .
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Can Wearables Detect Sleep Apnea Apple Fitbit & Garmin Explained
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines Sleep Apnea as a disorder characterized by disruptions in breathing such as pauses or periods of shallow breathing while sleeping. These disruptions may last for as long as a few minutes and can occur many times, typically after loud snoring. People with Sleep Apnea often feel sleepy or tired during the day, and it may also cause hyperactivity in children. Wearables are being used as a sleep tracker with increasing frequency.
The diagnosis and monitoring of Sleep Apnea requires cost-effective wireless technologies, especially in areas where doctors and patients are geographically separated. These technologies can also allow researchers to investigate the causes of Sleep Apnea to develop better treatments. Wearable devices are an unobtrusive method for obtaining the necessary data with minimal effect on the patient.
Continuous positive airway pressure is the most common treatment for moderate to severe Sleep Apnea. This technique uses pressurized air to keep the patients airway open, typically by wearing a facial mask connected to a machine. CPAP is effective in improving the outcome of Sleep Apnea, but patient compliance can be a limiting factor due to the discomfort of long-term use.
Apple Watch Respiratory Rate Tracking
If you are an Apple Watch user, chances are you have been using Apple Watch for sleep tracking already. And its pretty good at it. Moreover, you can track your blood oxygen levels, sleep time, and more when you wake up with Apple Watch. Now, you also get respiratory tracking while you sleep. In this article, we will take a look at what exactly is respiratory tracking, how respiratory tracking is different from SpO2 monitoring, how to use it, and more.
As always, you can use the table of contents to jump between sections as you like.
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How The Apple Watch Tracks Sleep
Apple Watch chief Kevin Lynch explains the company’s sleep approach in a conversation with CNET.
Sleep tracking on WatchOS 7 is overdue, and it’s starting with bedtime guidance.
It’s been almost five years since I first had a sleep study done at home. I put wires all over my face, wore a pulse oximeter on my finger and confirmed I had sleep apnea. I’ve used a CPAP machine ever since, and I’ve been interested in understanding how well I sleep and how to improve my rest. I’ve tried tons of watches, bed sensors and apps. Of all the smartwatches I’ve tried, the Apple Watch was conspicuously the only one that seemed to lack its own onboard sleep tracking.
While sleep tracking was possible using other Apple Watch apps, Apple never entered the space formally, despite purchasing sleep-tech company Beddit in 2017. That’s changed with WatchOS 7, unveiled last week at Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. It adds sleep tracking as an onboard feature, but you might be surprised at what sleep tracking on Apple’s watch does and doesn’t do.
Apple’s Wind Down feature on the iOS 14 is part of the Apple Watch’s sleep experience, too.
Solid Basic Sleep Tracking: Sleep++
The app is simple and clear, providing basic reports and visuals that are easy to understand.
As a simple app, it’s also one of the smallest at 6.9 MB so it won’t take up tons of space on your device.
Take out the frills of other apps and you get Sleep++. The simplicity is popular, with the app showing you a start button, stop button, and a little blue chart to display your sleep patterns. Like AutoSleep, it can sync your data to Apple Health and will automatically log sleep when activated on the iPhone app.
Solid accuracy in sleep tracking.
Easily view Heart badges on your Apple Watch.
Timogotchi provides motivation for meeting your goals with fun feedback and responses.
App interface can be crowded, if you’re only looking to track your sleep then you might want a more simple option.
A larger app, almost 20 MB, takes up device space.
HeartWatch is first an app for tracking your heart rate data, alerting you to any activity that is out of the ordinary. But it also tracks your sleep, then maps your heart rate data to your sleep habits. This allows you compare your sleeping and waking heart rate.
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Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Data
Most fitness trackers, such as those from Fitbit, Garmin, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, give you highly detailed data about the amount of time youre in REM sleep, light sleep, or are tossing around in bed. I, for one, dont care what stage of sleep Im in, or how much deep sleep I getI just want to know if Ive slept wellbut I respect not everyone feels that way.
The Galaxy Watch 3, and other fitness trackers Ive tested, offer more actionable insight, which someone with consistent sleep troubles might need. For me, going to bed at the same time every night has been enough of an adjustment to regulate my hours of rest. For others, something like Fitbit Premium, which offers personalized guidance on how they can sleep better and have more energy, might be a better choice.
Apple’s Not Planning To Use Your Sleep Data
Companies like Fitbit have used anonymized user data for years to study demographic sleep patterns and improve observations on sleep, but Apple doesn’t plan to do that. Instead, Apple has been building its machine learning models from data collected through internal studies.
“And that takes a long time. So we’ve been working on this for a while,” Lynch says. “We treat the data that’s being collected on a user’s device with a high level of sensitivity around privacy. Apple is not seeing your sleep data.”
Like other sensitive information collected by Apple devices, stats about your sleep stay on your device. You control where it’s shared, like with third-party apps connected to HealthKit, and Apple doesn’t collect the information.
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Apple Watch Sleep Comparison
A couple of random notes:
The Apple Watch doesnt list Awake Time directly like most wearables/sleep systems, so you have to do some quick math. Doing the math backwards, it would mean 27 mins of awake time based on specifying 6hr 43mins sleep time between 12:17AM and 7:27AM
All the other devices specify an actual Awake time, so I used that. I agree, the math doesnt always work in those cases. I just wrote what it showed.
For HRV values, Whoop and Apple Watch do record them. Whoop shows a single value, the Apple Watch recorded two values. Garmin does track HRV values at night , but doesnt explicitly list HRV values in the app anywhere.
For Sleep Scores, each company does their own magic. Note that for Whoop I used the Sleep Performance score, and not the recovery score. For this night the recovery score in Whoop showed 49 , which is basically a body recovery score upon HRV. Garmin does the same thing with HRV. Withings Sleep score comes from mixing sleep stages. However, for last night the Withings for some odd reason didnt calculate a sleep score yet. So, maybe later?
For average sleep heart rate, all companies track heart rate constantly throughout the night. And all of them showed the values. And some of them showed max/min. But Withings had a metric that showed the average for sleep explicitly.
For respiration rates, I used them as-is when shown.
Phew, got all that? Good.
Use Respiratory Rate Tracking On Apple Watch
The new sleeping respiratory rate tracking on Apple Watch is a useful new feature added to Apple Watches. Since the feature is available with watchOS 8, it should be available on Apple Watch Series 3, Series 4, Series 5, SE, and Series 6. Plus, the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 will obviously get it when it launches in the fall later this year. So, have you started using Apple Watchs new respiratory rate tracking feature yet? How has your experience been? Let us know in the comments.
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Sleep Tracking On The Apple Watch
Now that we understand sleep, lets look at Apples implementation of sleep tracking. Lets start with the good.
Apple has added a feature called Wind Down which assists you in establishing a bedtime routine. It can launch shortcuts and home automations that help you relax and make it easier to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow.
In my opinion, this may be the most under-appreciated announcement from Apples sleep tracking demo.
You may be different, but for me, sleep doesnt just happen. Unless I am physically and mentally exhausted by the time I go to bed every night, I need some time to transition. Turning down the lights, listening to some chill music, writing in my journal, and reading are all things that I do as part of my evening routine to help me go to bed on time and wake up the next day feeling refreshed. So I really like how Wind Down can help you get there by automatically triggering things to get you ready.
I do think some people who are used to using their devices until the moment they fall asleep will be annoyed by this. But from a health perspective, its a big plus.
The new haptic alarm mode is a welcome addition. While new, gentler wake up sounds are great, Ive been using a haptic alarm with the Sleep Cycle app for awhile now and I absolutely love it. I was a little skeptical that I could be woken up by a haptic alarm only on my wrist at first, but its been working well for me.
Edit Your Sleep Schedule
Tap Open Sleep Options in Health to open the Health app, where you can turn on the switch for Sleep Schedule. Tap the Edit link under Full Schedule and set your usual times for going to sleep and waking up. You can also set different times for different days, such as one schedule for weekdays and another for weekends.
Under Additional Details, tap the entry for Sleep Goal and set the number of hours and minutes that you hope to sleep. Tap the entry for Wind Down to select the amount of time for winding down before bed. Tap the entry for Wind Down Shortcuts to set up any shortcuts youd like to apply during Wind Down. Finally, tap the entry for Options to confirm the options you set in the Sleep app and to set up a few more.
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View Your Sleep History
In the morning, wake up to an informative greeting, then review your nights rest and compare it to the rest of the week. To view your sleep history, open the Sleep app on your Apple Watch and scroll down to review your data. For more stats, like weekly and monthly averages, or to find out how your heart rate fluctuated throughout the night, access the app on your paired .
Best Versatile App: Sleep Cycle
Why We Chose It: We chose Sleep Cycle as the best versatile app as it is available on iOS, Android, and Huawei.
Overlay of audio recordings on the sleep cycle graph for better interpretation
Able to identify a variety of different sounds, including coughing, talking, snoring, and a baby fussing
Lack of in-depth analysis of sleep compared to other apps
Need to manually start and stop sleep tracking
Poor descriptions of different tracking metrics
Sleep Cycle by Sleep Cycle AB gives you a simplified look at sleep patterns by analyzing audio recordings of snoring, talking, coughing, and other sounds. This app tracks your sleep cycle graphically and overlays audio recordings to help identify what is going on during different periods of sleep.
It has an average rating of 4.7 stars on the App Store and 4.4 stars on Google Play, as of March 2021. Sleep Cycle offers sleep statistics and can identify both short- and long-term trends. No equipment or fitness wearables are needed all you need to do is have your phone beside your bed. The app must be turned on before going to bed, and since it uses sound analysis to identify sleep states, there is the potential for error if you sleep with others in the room. You do need to start and stop the sleep timer manually, which can be problematic if you forget to do this regularly.
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