Wearable Battery Life Remains The Biggest Problem
Ever since the first Apple Watch arrived in 2015, Apple has stuck to the same battery life guarantee: 18 hours of run time between charges. The actual number can be much lower if you use the watch to make long phone calls, constantly download data, or track extended runs or workouts. But on the other hand, the latest Apple Watches quietly exceed the 18-hour promise if you disable or only lightly use their new features. Regardless, Apples guideline was simple: Put the watch on your wrist each morning, dont worry about battery life all day, then place it on a charger each night, and repeat ad infinitum.
Given that the company has had five years to prepare for the addition of sleep tracking which obviously requires users to wear their Watch overnight Apple could have boosted battery life any year with a bigger housing or more power-efficient parts to enable multiday run times. Some competitors have made those choices, relying heavily on longer run times to differentiate their devices. Apple instead decided to market its way around design compromises, recently floating the idea that users should recharge their Watches during morning showers.
On What Devices Can You Use Sleep Tracking
Remember that your Apple Watch needs to be on watchOS 7, while your iPhone must run iOS 14. This feature is integrated into those versions of watchOS and iOS, so using the latest available version is the only way to access sleep tracking.
We would also like to note that watchOS 7 is available on an Apple Watch Series 3 and later and also requires an iPhone 6s running iOS 14. Therefore, this feature should work on devices released in 2015 and later.
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Data Tracking With Sleep++
Sleep++ analyzes your sleeping pattern, shows you the number of hours you were in bed, and gives you a percentage measuring how restless you were during the night. You can also view your sleep information on the Sleep++ iPhone app and opt to sync the data to the Health app.
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How Does The Apple Watch Know Youre Standing
Standing and sitting are measured using similar motion sensor smarts. Inactivity suggests sitting, of course, although thats not always accurate you may be propped up at the bar, for instance.;Therefore, the Apple Watch also takes into account the way your wrist moves, say when typing at a desk. Heart rate is also a factor here, as when you stand there is a sudden rush of blood as your body fires up for movement.
The result should be a more accurate measure of movement to stand. Since you also get move alerts throughout the day with Apple Watch,;this can help to predict when you stand since its combined with your daily movement routines.
However, note that standing desks tend to flummox the Apple Watch. All of that static motion combined with constant typing makes it think youre sat down.
Sleep Cycle & Apple Watch Integration
Our integration with Apple Watch for iPhone is here!;Is the Watch stand alone?Yes. You dont need to engage with your phone at all, as you go to bed and wake up with the Watch. The Watch analyses your sleep during the night, wakes you up at the time youve set and then transfers the analysis to your phone. You can view the nights analysis on your phone, whenever you feel like it.
Does the Watch sleep analysis transfer to my phone?Yes. Isnt it lovely? Just use your Watch as you sleep and the analysis shifts to your phone, when you wake up. Sometimes, it might take a while, but youll be notified when its done.
Alarm modes on the Watch appThe “No alarm, only sleep analysis” option is not available on the Watch at this point in time due to restrictions within the Watch OS. But if this changes, we will hopefully be able to implement this as well.
Do you record snoring when using the Watch?When using the Watch app, we will not be able to detect snoring as we analyze your sleep via movements, detected via the accelerometer in the watch. If you want to detect snoring, you will have to stick to the phone app for now.
Whats the battery drain then?Not much. 10-15%, depending on what else is going on in your Watch during the night.Why no complication?So far, we got no strong use case for it. But Watch development will continue and a solid complication is part of it.
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Use An Emf Blocking Watch Strap
Its not recommended that you sleep in your apple watch every night if youre worried about radiation exposure but if you do need to wear it every night, then you should invest in an EMF Harmonizer Apple Watchband that will block you from the radiation.
Apple Watches emit a form of radiation referred to as Electromagnetic Frequency , which is similar to cell phone radiation.
Numerous studies have shown that the closer you are to the radiation, the more of it you will absorb, which might cause detrimental effects to your health in the long run .
Cancer may be one symptom of very high EMF exposure.
Other symptoms may include sleep disturbances and insomnia.
Although the amount of radiation emitted by smartwatches may be lower in comparison to other devices, these watches are pressed directly into your skin for several hours a day meaning we absorb a lot of radiation throughout the day, which could pose long-term health risks.
To protect yourself against some of the harmful effects of EMF radiation, put your watch on airplane mode whenever you arent expecting anything important this will give your body a break or remove your watch periodically to allow your skin to breathe.
You can also invest in an Apple Watch radiation blocker an anti-radiation accessory which protects your skin against harmful EMF radiation.
How We Picked And Tested
When it comes to sleep-tracking apps, its easy to get caught up in the functional details. But the ultimate goal isnt to track your sleep perfectly; its to track trends in your sleep so that you can better understand and improve it. To make that happen, several other features are also crucial in a tracking app. Heres what we looked for in the apps, in order of importance:
It was impossible to test all of the sleep apps on the iTunes store and Google Play, so we started by choosing the most downloaded apps that also had ratings of more than four out of five stars. Then we confirmed that in addition to keeping our data secure, the apps could export that data . We also sent out a few emails to customer support to see how responsive the companies were. In the end, we selected four apps to test: Pillow, Sleep as Android, Sleep Cycle, and SleepScore.
In 2018, Joanne spent eight days testing all four apps at the same time , and tested some of them individually for a few days. She also compared the four apps while wearing fitness bands and a couple of apps on the Apple Watch on the same wrist, to find out if buying a phone app is necessary if you already have a wearable fitness tracker.
The apps presented the results, as you can see here from one typical night, in a variety of ways.
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View Your Sleep History
The alarm will wake you up at your chosen wake-up time by emitting a chosen sound and by tapping on your wrist.
However, if your watch is in silent mode, it will wake you up with taps, but no audible sound.
The Sleep Mode will then turn off and you will be able to check on how well youve slept throughout the night.
To view your sleep history, open the Sleep app and scroll down to take a more detailed look at how long you slept, along with times when you may have woken up.
After youve tracked your sleep for several consecutive nights, you will be able to compare your patterns of sleep for about 14 days.
It is worth noting that the Apple Watch only focuses on the time you go to bed and on the amount of time you sleep to help you reach your sleep goal.
According to Kevin Lynch the vice president of technology at Apple looking at too much information about your various sleep stages can be unnecessary, overwhelming, and can actually cause more anxiety in terms of going to sleep .
Therefore, Apple only focuses on the time you go to bed and on the amount of time you sleep in order to help you stick to a good bedtime routine and hence reach your sleep goal.
Ways To Sleep Safely With An Apple Watch On
The Apple Watch is a wearable smartwatch that uses Bluetooth, WiFi, and cellular signals to communicate with your paired iPhone and notify you of things that you care about the most.
Sleeping in your Apple Watch occasionally should pose minimal health risks.
However, wearing the Apple Watch all night for several nights per week may cause skin irritation, discomfort, and negative reactions to EMF radiation in some individuals.
You can minimize the risks if you prevent the screen from lighting up at night, stop alerts from disturbing you, and you remove your watch periodically.
Wear your Apple Watch for a few consecutive nights to track and compare the amount of sleep you are getting every night so that you can create a bedtime routine and reach your sleep goals and then go back to not wearing the watch for maximum health benefits.
Here are 7 actionable tips to help you sleep safely in your Apple Watch tonight:
What If You Really Need Sleep Tracking
Sure, theres an argument to be made about someone needing to keep a track of their sleeping habits, and considering the amount of attention Apple pays to making sure the Apple Watch is a great fitness companion , it seems like sleep tracking should be somewhere high-up on their to-do list for watchOS.
Who knows, maybe Apple finally does bring sleep tracking to the Apple Watch with the Series 6 this year. Maybe. I dont think they should though.
Before Apple implements sleep tracking in the Apple Watch, the company needs to figure out one of two things :
- The battery needs to last much longer, or,
- The watch needs to charge considerably faster than it does.
See, if the battery on the Apple Watch lasted, say, 3 days, sleep tracking would be great. You wear your watch continuously for three days, including while you sleep, and then one night you let it charge. Sure you dont get sleep data for one night, but its better than not getting sleep data ever.
Second, if the watch charged faster than it does, the current battery situation would resolve itself. You can wear the watch the whole day, sleep with it still on your wrist, and just charge it the next morning while you get ready for work .
Thats wishful thinking, and while I certainly hope Apple will figure out some way to get this done, I wont hold my breath for it, and I will definitely not be happy about the Apple Watch based on my own hopes for what the future holds for this product.
Getting The Watch Ready To Sleep:
Now, as it stands today, actually getting the Apple Watch to track sleep is a rather long affair. Unlike Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung, and wellevery other wearable ever the Apple Watch wont actually track sleep by simply wearing it and heading to sleep. Instead, you need to fully detail your nights intentions to the parents, as if you were a teenage boy about to take a girl out to the prom.
So, assuming you got everything all updated on both your phone and watch, then you need to open the Sleep app on your watch. This is what tells the watch that you want to do sleep things on both the watch and the phone. It does seem you can do some of this via the Watch configuration app, but you cant do all of it. More on that in a second.
On the Apple Watch, youll open the Sleep app, and the first thing itll ask is for your sleep goal. This is basically telling it how many hours you want to sleep each night:
Its on this same page you can configure an alarm or not:
Next, is the toggle to actually enable sleep tracking. This is the part that basically keeps track of how much you sleep each night:
After that, youll toggle the Sleep Mode on the watch. This piece turns off the watch display unless tapped. So the previous setting enables data tracking, and this setting turns off the display as well as automatically enabling Do Not Disturb based on your planned sleep time.
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Paid Membership: 7 Days Free $399/month Or $2999/year To Gain Access To Better Analysis
SleepWatch provides the most data of any of the tested apps, but youll have to buy a membership to make the most of it, as well as receive heart rate comparisons and comprehensive sleep analyses. The paid membership will give you a numeric value for your quality of sleep think of it as your sleep credit score!
Youll also get data based on your sleep patterns, a ratio of light-to-restful sleep, and your heart rate. You can view this data on your Apple Watch, as well as on the mobile app.
You can set your sleep goal and adjust the sensitivity of the sleep detection. The Smart Bedtime Reminder is another paid feature that will remind you to go to sleep at a certain time to improve your sleep rhythm.
If you love to analyze data and see how changing your lifestyle can affect your sleep, then this is the app for you.
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Other Minor Issues With The Up App
Besides automatic sleep detection and the initial;pairing issue, I have found a couple of minor issues that Jawbone hopefully corrects soon, including:
- Switching between normal and sleep mode should not need five clicks in the app. Tapping the band is much faster and more convenient. So please restore the old behavior or at least make it an option.
- Making changes that need;to be;synced;to the band, like smart alarm time, sleep mode, etc. is slow because the settings in the app only update after they have synchronized to the band. So Switching to sleep mode takes several seconds before the icon in the app shows the moon, indicating sleep mode is on. As a result, the app appears unresponsive, and you never know if your click/tap was registered until a few seconds later. Instead, Jawbone should change the indicator icons first while syncing in the background.
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Which App Is Best
AutoSleep and Pillow are both excellent choices. Neither one is free , but neither is expensive. Perhaps most importantly, both AutoSleep and Pillow are one-time purchases; in this age of subscription-based apps, its nice to just buy something and own it.
Both apps gave me similar data about total sleep time, but their reports for how much good sleep I got or how long I spent in deep sleep were often wildly different. I get the feeling that they simply have different definitions of these things. What is more important is that theyre both pretty consistent, at least once you set them up properly and youve given the learning heuristics a week or two to figure out your sleep patterns.
I found Pillows basic information to be presented in a more appealing and easy to understand format, and its Apple Watch app and notifications are great. I like AutoSleeps charts for detailed information, but I honestly rarely drill down that deep. Pillows daily sleep summary notification includes a little graph, which I appreciate.
We still think Apple should provide its own sleep tracking in watchOS 6. Given all the ways Apple is using machine learning to build activity profiles, fall detection, and more, it seems like a natural fit. But until then, you can get a great third-party alternative for just a few bucks with either AutoSleep or Pillow.
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The Need For Another Sleep Tracker
After I had installed iOS 10 Beta on my iPhone 6S Plus, I noticed a minor glitch with the UP app. Every couple of minutes the UP2 band would disconnect from my iPhone, without giving me an option to reconnect other than completely;re-linking the band.
There wasnt any data loss involved, but it was a bit of a pain in the butt. Nobody forced me to install a beta version of iOS, so this was a classic self-inflicted wound. But it gave me an opportunity to revisit alternative sleep tracking methods that would involve the Apple Watch.
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What Is Respiratory Rate On Apple Watch And How To Use It
The WWDC 2021 keynote is done and dusted, and alongside updates like iOS 15 and macOS 12 Monterey, Apple has also unveiled watchOS 8 for the Apple Watch with new portrait watch faces, mindful app updates, and more. One of the most useful features added in watchOS 8 is the new sleeping respiratory rate tracking on Apple Watch. So, if you are itching to know more about it, we have explained what is sleeping respiratory rate on Apple Watch and how to use it in this article.