What Apple Watch Devices Work With Sleep Tracking
WatchOS 7 and the Sleep app associated with it are only compatible with particular Apple Watches. These include the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Series 5, Apple Watch Series 6, and Apple Watch SE.
If you own an original Apple Watch or Series 1 or 2 model, you can’t use the Sleep app. You’ll also need an iPhone that runs iOS 14 which means anything newer than an iPhone 6s.
The Best Sleep Tracking Apps To Download For Your Apple Watch
The Apple Watch finally has its own built-in sleep tracking but it’s a very basic affair. If you want more data about your slumber, you’ll need a third party Apple Watch sleep app.
The beauty of the Apple Watch is that there’s a rich ecosystem of third party apps, which expand the feature set beyond the standard watchOS experience. So although Apple hasn’t natively added sleep tracking, there’s no shortage of apps to fill the void.
Apple has enabled the sleep tracking experience to be a little easier. There’s a Bedtime mode that will put your watch into a do not disturb mode between certain hours, and stop the smartwatch from blinding you with the screen wake backlight.
However, the challenge is finding time in your day to recharge your Apple Watch, given it only has a single day of battery life.
If you’re looking for an Apple Watch app to track your sleep and give you richer, more insightful stats, we’ve picked out the ones we think you should be taking to bed below.
How Does It Work
In direct comparison to the likes of Fitbit, Withings and other wearables, Apples sleep tracking is undeniably basic.
Theres no sleep stage tracking of REM, deep and light cycles, nor is there in-depth analysis of how long it took you to drop off. Why? Because Apple says that stuff isnt really directly improvable by users, thus not useful to know and it has a point.
The Apple Watch therefore focuses on the tracking of sleep duration, and behaviors you can control for a better night’s sleep. That included consistent bedtime and wake ups, and ironically, spending less time with your devices.
It uses the motion sensors and accelerometer to monitor your rest, and while it does use the heart rate sensor to track blood oxygen and bpm, this isnt factored into the assessment of your sleep.
That may seem insanely retro but it works. Were continually comparing and testing the best sleep trackers, and the Apple Watch is up there with the most accurate devices in terms of tracking sleep duration.
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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 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.
How Garmin Tracks Sleep
Many Garmins – those with optical heart rate sensors – offer what Garmin calls Advanced Sleep Monitoring .
These include the Garmin Venu 2 45mm , Garmin Forerunner 55 , Garmin Forerunner 45 , Garmin Forerunner 645 and Garmin Forerunner 645 Music , Garmin Forerunner 935 , Garmin Venu , Garmin Vivoactive 3 , Garmin Vivosmart 4 and Garmin Vivosport .
Information you’ll get includes estimates of your sleep stages, Pulse Ox and respiration rate.
Garmin watches come packed with features for your daytime fitness needs too. You can read all our Garmin smartwatch reviews to find out more.
How Do Wearables Track Sleep
A 2018 study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine assessed the use of home Sleep Apnea testing devices for assessing Sleep Apnea. These devices included smartphones, smartwatches, and other wearables. The rapid development and application of a sleep apnea tracker is largely due to the increasing prevalence of Sleep Apnea.
The reference standard for the diagnosis of Sleep Apnea remains cardiorespiratory polysomnography , which is a multi-parametric sleep study of heart and lung functions. However, the testing capabilities of HSAT devices have been getting more accurate and specific to Sleep Apnea. The SCOPER scheme has been developed to evaluate and categorize HSAT systems by validating the most important functions for diagnosing Sleep Apnea.
This acronym indicates these functions as follows:
- Respiratory effort
The SCOPER process checks the functions needed to characterize Sleep Apnea rather than simply merely counting individual apnea events. For example, it evaluates an HSATs ability to distinguish between central and obstructive apnea, which is vital for developing an effective treatment plan. This evaluation scheme thus allows new sensors and software to meet the criteria for a successful diagnosis of Sleep Apnea. HSAT systems also need to evaluate the severity of the Sleep Apnea when reporting measurements.
Waking Up With Apple Watch
Within Bedtime mode you can also change how youre woken up. The default is to have no alarm, but you can set a silent alarm which rouses you using the Apple Watchs Taptic engine or a standard audio alarm.
When you edit the Schedule just scroll to the bottom and choose Wake Up Alarm. Toggle this on and then tap Sound & Haptics.
Here you can select a vibrate option and some soothing sounds for an alarm. If you want the haptic only just turn the volume to minimum.
What Is A Wearable
A wearable device, or wearable, is an electronic device with a micro-controller that can be worn directly on the body or incorporated into clothing. They often have internet connectivity, making them part of the Internet of Things . The cost of wearable technology dropped to a level that would allow widespread adoption by 2009, and sales began growing rapidly by 2013.
Smart watches and activity trackers are some of the best-known examples of wearables in consumer electronics, although its uses are expanding rapidly as the technology develops. Professional athletes are also using wearables to obtain real-time monitoring and feedback on physical functions such as movements and energy expenditure. Other current applications for wearables are found in navigations systems, advanced textiles, and healthcare, especially elder care.
Wearables can collect biometric data to provide valuable information on the heart, brain, and muscles. They also have great potential for generating big data, so researchers are shifting their focus to the development of algorithms that will provide insight into the collected data. Neural networks and statistical classification are currently the most promising data mining techniques for the data gathered by wearables.
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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The Apple Watch Dims And Becomes Bedtime
I realized, as it was time for bed, that the watch screen was really dim, like the Watch Series 5’s ambient always-on display mode, but all the time. It looks like a basic watch face, shutting down complications and other details. Tapping and turning the crown brought me back to other features if I needed them… but I liked the idea here. Also, a dimmer, more low-key watch can mean saving battery life, which is smart anyway.
Does Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Naps
The Apple Watch uses a manually set sleep schedule to determine when youre in bed instead of, say, lying on the couch watching Netflix. When you nap, you can hit the Sleep Mode button in the Control Center on your Apple Watch and iPhone, but no tracking occurs if you use it out of your assigned bedtime hours.
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How Can I Change My Sleep Goal
If you’ve realized you under or overestimated what sleep you need, it makes sense to adjust your sleep goal. Here’s where to look.
1. On your iPhone, open the Health app and tap Sleep.
2. Tap Full Schedule & Options.
3. Tap Sleep Goal and adjust it to the length of time you now need.
You can also change your schedule so that your Apple Watch automatically adjusts depending on the day of the week. Want to have a lie-in on a Saturday? Tweak the times for Saturday so you can sleep longer than on a Monday morning.
Why Is Sleep Important
Many of us routinely skimp on sleep in fact, two thirds of adults throughout developed nations get less than eight hours sleep a night.
You probably don’t realise how sleep-deprived you are if you start each day with a strong coffee. Caffeine blocks sleepiness signals, artificially making you feel more alert.
Insufficient sleep increases your risk of Alzheimers, cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, stroke and numerous other health problems. It shatters your immune system. And it interferes with hunger signals, too, increasing levels of a hormone that makes you feel hungry, while suppressing a companion hormone that makes you feel sated which can lead to weight gain.
From a more cheerful perspective, getting the NHS-recommended seven to nine hours sleep and making sure its good quality sleep is a free way to improve your health, memory, mood, appearance and decision-making.
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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.
How Long Will It Last: Apple Watch Vs Fitbit
Both companies come out with new products fairly regularly, so if you are a person who always wants the newest and greatest, they will both age relatively quickly. However, if you are talking about ability to function over time, both the Fitbit and the Apple Watch are durable devices.
Fitbit has lots of waterproof options and the Apple Watch is a waterproof device. The Fitbit does have some more heavy-duty options that can be good for kids who play rough on the playground, however, both can stand up well to your typical wear and tear.
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What Does A Typical Sleep
A typical night’s sleep follows the pattern below, cycling through Stages 1 to REM every 90-110 minutes, with REM cycles getting longer each time.
Stage 1 – light sleep
We drift in and out of sleep, our eyes move slowly and our muscle activity slows down. We are easily woken up again.
Stage 2 – also fairly light sleep
Our bodies start preparing for deep sleep. Our eye movements, heart rate and brain waves slow down. Our body temperature drops.
Stage 3 – deep sleep
Deep sleep or slow wave sleep. Our heart rate and breathing rate are at their lowest, our muscles are relaxed and our brain waves slow down further.
For healthy adults, 15-20% of your sleep should be deep sleep.
We are difficult to rouse and can feel disorientated if woken up from deep sleep.
We dream. Technically REM sleep isn’t the only period of sleep in which we dream, but the vivid, hallucinogenic, often emotional, and bizarre experiences which seem to form a narrative come from REM sleep.
Our eyes are closed but dart rapidly from side to side. Our brain activity returns to a more wakeful state.
Our breathing becomes faster, irregular and shallow.
Our limbs may become paralysed to stop us acting out our dreams.
Interestingly, studies show that getting enough REM sleep helps us better read the social world around us. Insufficient REM sleep can, amongst other things, blunt our ability to discern changes in others’ facial expressions and, thus, make it harder for us to navigate social situations.
How To Sleep Better
Common tips to help you sleep better include avoiding caffeine, your mobile phone or laptop and heavy meals before bed. If you’re still struggling to drift off despite that, though, here are some other ideas to try out.
Yoga can be a great way to relax and wind down. Read our guide onhow to set up a home yoga studioto get started.
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Sleep Tracking With Watchos 7
Apple finally added the long-awaited sleep-tracking feature to Apple Watch with WatchOS 7. Its pretty simple to use, too. Just set a bedtime and wake-up time, and the Apple Watch will help you get a good nights rest. We all know sleep hygiene is important, and the Wind Down feature helps to minimize distractions before bedtime, such as switching your iPhone to Do Not Disturb and changing the lock screen to a less-distracting interface. As soon as its your scheduled bedtime, the Apple Watch starts automatically tracking sleep. Make sure your watch is set to a comfortable fit if its too loose on your wrist, it may register too much movement during the night.
Your sleep data tracked through the Apple Watch integrates with the Apple Health app, and through the app, you can see statistics based on how much shut-eye youre getting and receive tips for better sleep. Each morning when you wake up, your Apple Watch provides you with a summary of your nights sleep as well as a battery indicator to remind you to charge your device.
How Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Works
Apple’s sleep tracking integrates with the existing Bedtime feature on the iPhone’s Clock app , so you turn it on and create a schedule.
Before your allocated bedtime you’ll be ‘prepared’ for sleep with a wind-down time while your Apple Watch becomes dimmed and locked – your Watch is now in ‘Sleep Mode’.
Do Not Disturb is automatically turned on but you can disable this either when you set up Sleep or afterwards.
You can also choose whether or not to have charging reminders – the watch will warn you within an hour of bedtime if you have less than 30 percent charge.
If you have a Series 4 or 5 you’ll almost certainly be OK to go through the night if you charged for a bit during the day at some point. With Series 3, you will need to fully charge in the day to last the night.
In Sleep Mode, you need to turn the digital crown to unlock the watch just as you do when you step out of water after swimming. We actually find this a bit irritating when we need to get up in the night and use the torch, for example.
You can disable Sleep Mode if you want, but this won’t track sleep. You can also opt out of sleep tracking entirely, even if you have Sleep Mode enabled.
You can access Sleep options and tracking in various places, which is somewhat confusing at first but does make sense because it ties several things together. So:
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How Do Wearables Help With Sleep Apnea Studies And Sleep Centers
Clinicians can accurately estimate sleep behavior in a sleep center for up to 42 minutes by using smartphones that analyze light, noise, and acceleration, according to a 2013 paper published at the 7th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare. Manufacturers will continue to add external sensors to consumer wearables that allow them to assess other signals.
An oximetry probe that measures the oxygen saturation of the wearers blood is one of the most promising types of new sleep apnea technology. Continuous monitoring of oxygen saturation combined with pulse rate during sleep provides excellent validation results for this application. However, it also increases the demands of a wearable with respect to battery power, graphics control and signal processing.
The efficacy of long-term oximetry has already been evaluated for monitoring patients with Sleep Apnea. A 2013 study published at the 13th IEEE International Conference on BioInformatics and BioEngineering combined external oximetry with a built-in microphone to measure respiratory effort and a built-in accelerometer to measure movements. The sensitivity of this technique in classifying obstructive Sleep Apnea was 100 percent with a sensitivity of 85.7 percent.