Making The Switch: Fitbit Or Apple Watch
If you are looking to only own one of the two options , you need to figure out if what you mainly want is a smartwatch with impressive technology or an all around fitness and wellness tracker. If you are looking for a smartwatch, Apple really does have some of the most impressive technology on the market. The variety of apps and features that come with the Apple Watch are really great. However, if you are looking for an all around fitness and wellness tracker, right now the Fitbit is probably your best bet, especially the Sense which has some of the strongest tech that Fitbit has to offer.
No Public Sleep Studies Yet
Apple has public health studies for areas like heart health, hearing and women’s health, which are enabled through separate opt-in research apps, it has no public sleep studies yet. Instead, “has been doing our sleep studies internally with thousands of people,” Lynch says. Apple could eventually open a public sleep study, if the company intends to study deeper links to conditions like sleep apnea.
Fitbit — now acquired by Google — has enabled blood oxygen measurement on its recent trackers with the aim to provide deeper sleep analysis or sleep apnea detection, although no FDA-cleared results have taken place yet. The connection between fitness trackers and accurate sleep analysis has been fuzzy. I’ve worn an Oura ring lately and have been using its sleep scores as a semi-helpful snapshot of my restfulness the night before. Does that score always line up with how I feel? No. I wear my CPAP machine, and it’s not aware of what my sleep trackers are recording. Or vice versa.
Current Apple Watches still need charging nearly every day, and sleep tracking needs a 30% charge for a night’s recording.
The Apple Watch Is Due For A Battery Boost
Another edge wearable alternatives from Samsung or Fitbit hold over the Apple Watch as it pertains to sleep tracking is battery life. Until recently, I charged my Apple Watch overnight, every night, as I do my iPhone. This week Ive adjusted to juicing it up a bit before bed, and again in the morning, when the new Good Morning interface lets me know my watchs battery status.
But watching the Galaxy Watch 3 last two days, and some fitness trackers lasting a week, now more than ever I think the Apple Watch needs a better battery life.
If Apple Watch 6 rumors and leaks prove true, then the next-generation watch should get this upgrade, which, IMHO, will make Apple Watch sleep tracking all the more appealing. My competitive nature is sold on the routine needed to meet my sleep goals, so is too much to ask for hardware to match?
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Change Or Add A Sleep Schedule
Open the Sleep app
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 to remove an existing schedule, or tap Cancel to cancel creating a new one.
Image Attribution And Licencing
Main image: Close Up of Man With Smart Watch Sleeping in Bed by Syda Productions used with permission under the terms of Canvas One Design Use License Agreement.
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Native Apple Watch Sleep Tracking
With the release of watchOS 7 last year, Apple Watch now officially supports sleep tracking without needing a third-party application.
We went hands-on with the experience when it was released, explaining that Apple is tying Apple Watch sleep-tracking capabilities in with new iPhone features such as Wind Down and Wake Up for a seamless cross-device experience.
Theres a new Sleep app on the Apple Watch, as well as a Sleep Mode that hides your usual watch face and instead shows the current time, as well as what time your alarm is set for. It also disables features like raise-to-wake, so your watch face isnt lighting up in the middle of the night.
To view the sleep data tracked by your Apple Watch, you can go to the Sleep app on Apple Watch or the Health app on iPhone. The actual data here is limited. Apple simply shows you your time asleep, as well as a range for your heart rate. Thats where third-party applications still prove useful. They can offer much more data than Apples native implementation, and you dont have to wait until the fall to get started.
How To Monitor Sleep With Apple Watch In Watchos 7
Automatic sleep tracking is coming to the Apple Watch when watchOS 7 launches this autumn, here’s how it will work:
In addition to assigning your sleep times the system will allocate relaxation time for before going to bed, to help you wind down. Using Siri Shortcuts you could link this to your bedtime routine so that your iPhone adjusts the lighting, plays suitable music and even opens a book in the Books app. At the start of ‘bedtime’ your devices will switch into sleep mode. The lock screen brightness will lower and Do Not disturb will be activated.
During the night your Watch screen will be dimmed – so you will only be able to see the current time and when you alarm is set for. And most importantly features like raise to wake will be disabled, so you won’t be woken up because your watch screen came on when you moved your arm.
You will be able to view data in the Sleep app on your Watch and in the Health app on your iPhone.
Read more about watchOS 7 here.
This article originally appeared on Macwelt. Translation by Karen Haslam.
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What Data Will You See
As I mentioned before, the Sleep app will show you the information you need about your sleep.
You can view the data from either your iPhone, using the Health app, or on your Apple Watch, on the Sleep app. Both will first show you how much you slept and how much time you were just in bed.
This is just to show you how much sleep are you actually getting every night. Youll also see your night compared to the night before, and how close you were to your personal sleep goal. This is where the app becomes a bit competitive and it sounds like youre trying to beat your highest score from the night before.
Besides your sleep, the Apple Watch also tracks your heart rate while you sleep. This is more useful than you might first think. If you have a heart condition, suffer from stress, or even if you have a nightmare, the Sleep app will help you determine if you need to create a better bedtime routine or even go to the doctor.
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 Does Blood Oxygen Monitoring Work
What was once a test reserved only for dedicated monitors has now found its way onto smartwatches and fitness trackers – so how does it actually work?
Well, traditionally, SpO2 monitors would consist of a clip-on device that the user would place on a finger or toe. It would then use red and infrared light sensors to log the volume of oxygen passing through the finger, for example, and continuously monitor this for changes.
In the modern sense, of course, this can now be achieved directly from the wrist without any adjustments. Apple, specifically, indicates that it uses four clusters of green, red, infrared LEDs and four photodiodes on the back crystal of the Series 6 in order to measure the light reflected back from the blood.
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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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.
How To Accurately Track And Improve Your Sleep Now
At Well Professor, whilst we closely follow all the mainstream wearables trends, we also look beyond this and utilise our years of industry experience to discover the technology you may not yet know about. And when it comes to sleep tracking, things have already moved on. A long way. You probably havent heard of it yet but with Dreem 2, it is possible to accurately track your sleep in the comfort of your own home using unrivalled lab quality brainwave analysis at an affordable price. . Dreem 2 tracks your sleep for a full 7 days using this technology, before setting about changing things. Once it has carried out a complete analysis of your sleep, it sets about improving and optimising things using tailored cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia programmes, and precise sound stimuli. You see, with Dreem 2 sleep tracking is merely just the beginning. What really matters is what comes next a fundamental transformation of the way you sleep, the quality of your sleep, and the inevitable benefits on your health now and long into the future.
So while Apple waits, you dont have to. Dreem 2 is the future of your sleep. And you can start now…
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How To Track Sleep In The Apple Watch 5 Natively
As noted earlier, the Apple Watch 5 comes with its sleep tracking mechanism, but it’s fairly basic. You can just see your sleep schedule, highlights, and the average time slept.
To view it, head over to the All Health data app on your iPhone and scroll down until you see the Sleep option. Tap on to view the data.
And yeah, you can switch between the week view and the month view as well.
As mentioned above, this data is very basic and doesn’t give you in-depth information. For instance, you can’t check your sleeping heartbeat or the quality of your sleep.
If you want to dive deep into your sleep routines and patterns, naturally you will need an app more capable than the basic app.
We tried quite a few iOS apps, and the one we discovered to work well and provide the right balance of features and settings is the one named AutoSleep.
Update Next Wake Up Only
You can also adjust your sleep schedule for the next day from the Clock app.
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How To Turn Any Apple Watch Into A Sleep Tracker
Apple didn’t include sleep tracking in the Watch Series 5. Fortunately, just about any Apple Watch model can track your sleep. Here’s how.
Teach your old Apple Watch a new trick: how to track your sleep habits.
Well, so much for the rumor mill. Although we expected the new Apple Watch might include sleep-tracking features, the just-announced Apple Watch Series 5 has no such capabilities. Eh, no biggie — I’ve been monitoring my sleep habits for a couple years already, thanks to apps that work with nearly every Apple Watch model. Best of all, the cost of doing so ranges from free to just a couple bucks.
More from the Apple event
I first wrote about this a couple years back, and in light of the above news, this seemed the ideal time for an update. If nothing else, now you know that you needn’t hinge any Apple Watch purchase or upgrade plans on sleep-tracking alone.
It all started when I was feeling unusually tired, which led me to ask my doctor what might be causing it. His first question: “Are you getting enough sleep?” Why, of course I’m getting enough… hmm, wait a second, am I?
How Does The Apple Watch Track Sleep
The Apple Watch tracks sleep in the way that most smartwatches, fitness trackers and other wrist-worn wearables do. It makes use of the built-in accelerometer motion sensor, which has been present inside of the Apple Watch since the original.
It uses that accelerometer motion sensor to identify the difference between when youre active and when youve eased down to sleep. Apple will then use its own algorithms to identify when you’re unconscious and when you wake.
Youll also be asked to create an ideal sleep schedule that incorporates reminders when its time to start thinking about getting into bed and even includes a wind down mode that will let you launch soothing music, dimming lights or opening a meditation app to help you sleep. When its time to drift off, it will also turn on Do Not Disturb mode to prevent your screen from waking up.
In the morning, therell be wake up sounds to rouse you from your slumber. A glance at your wrist will give you a summary of your sleep time, the weather and your battery status, which is a subject we will get onto next.
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