So Is It Still Worth Wearing Your Fitness Tracker To Bed At Night
Most smartwatches and fitness trackers have whats called a tri-axis accelerometer in them.;Thats a techy way of saying theres an accelerator in your wearable.
Its a small device made up of axis-based motion sensing and it tracks movement in every direction.;Some even come with a gyroscope to measure orientation and rotation.
Using a process called actigraphy, your tracker translates your wrist movements into sleep patterns.;
As you can imagine its not always accurate and theres some guesswork involved in that process.;Thats because actigraphy just tracks one thing movement. And theres so much more to monitoring sleep than simply tossing and turning.
Brainwaves, eye movements, and breathing are also required to determine the difference between deep REM sleep and light sleep.
Psychologist Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD, MPH from the Rush University Medical Center, published a report in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine on the impact of fitness trackers on sleep.
Baron states that part of the problem lies in the technology itself. Citing multiple studies, Barons report states that these increasingly popular devices “are unable to accurately discriminate stages of sleep.” As Baron explains, “They are not able to differentiate between light and deep sleep.” Furthermore, “they might call it sleep when you’re reading in bed.”
How To Set Up Sleep On Apple Watch And Iphone
Setting up Apples Sleep on either your iPhone or Apple Watch is incredibly simple and Apple walks you through the setup when you first access it. Here youll be asked to input your goals, bedtime, wake up time, turn Sleep Mode on and off, customize your Wind Down Shortcuts and turn on sleep tracking.
Set up your own sleep schedule in just a few taps:
- On iPhone, open the Health app, tap Browse, tap Sleep, and tap Get Started under Set Up Sleep. Then follow the onscreen prompts to set up Sleep.
- On Apple Watch, open up the Sleep app and follow the onscreen instructions.
Once youve set up the Sleep feature, viewing your sleep history is easy. Whenever you return to the Sleep section in the Health app on iPhone or to the Sleep app on Apple Watch, youll be greeted with charts of your weekly and monthly sleep history.
Tracking your sleep is an excellent use for a smartwatch, but there are loads of other uses, too. Tap or click here for 12 must-have apps for your Apple Watch.
Sleep Data Is Modest And Not Particularly Actionable
Apples sleep tracking app interface is simple. Tell it your preferred bedtime schedule in my case, 11 p.m. to just before 6 a.m. and it will be looking out for sleep during those times . It turns out that you must set up tracking schedules to cover each individual day of the week or use separate schedules for weekdays and weekends. I didnt realize until too late that the Watch hadnt recorded data for two full nights because I hadnt set up a separate weekend schedule to cover them.
Assuming the Watch gathers your data properly, youll see a very modest display of data, including a bar representing your total time asleep, the timestamps indicating sleep start and end points, and a bar chart covering the last 14 days. If you want a deeper dive, you can open the Health app on an iPhone to see your average time in bed and average time asleep and under some conditions, a correlation of your overnight heart rate data with your sleeping schedule. When I checked the Health app, one day the heart rate data was there, but another day it disappeared from the apps list of Highlights and I couldnt find it.
Apple has suggested its providing little data to keep users from obsessing over their sleep schedules, as that might inadvertently generate even more anxiety or restlessness. Im still not sure whether thats truly an act of kindness or just a convenient excuse for underwhelming functionality.
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Set Up Sleep On Apple Watch
Open the Sleep app on your watch . Tap the schedule, then select the Wake Up time if you wish to change it. Turn on an alarm if you need one to wake you up at the right time. Tap the time for Bedtime if you want to change that as well.
Return to the main screen and tap Full Schedule if you wish to turn off your Sleep Schedule for any specific nights or all nights. Here, you can also add a schedule and change your sleep goal or Wind Down time. Then just wear your watch to bed.
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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How To Monitor Your Breathing Rate While You Sleep With Apple Watch
Last year, with the introduction of watchOS 7, Apple added the ability to track your sleep metrics using the Apple Watch. Now, with watchOS 8, you can also track your respiratory rate throughout the night, which could help to detect early signs of medical conditions like sleep apnea, and chronic lung disease, among others.
Using its built-in accelerometer, the Apple Watch can track the number of breaths you take per minute while asleep. The results are then recorded in the Health app, which also gives you deeper insight into the data on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.
Here’s how to monitor your breathing rate while you sleep with Apple Watch.
How To Set Up Sleep On Your Apple Watch In Watchos 7
Before you head to bed with your best Apple Watch band strapped around your wrist, you’ll need to actually launch the Sleep app and set it up. The first time you launch the Sleep app, you will be prompted through a ton of different screens to set up your sleep schedule. You’ll need to set what time you want to wake up and go to bed, set if you want an alarm, and what sound that alarm will make, and you’ll need to set up if you want sleep tracking and Wind Down enabled. It sounds like a lot, but the process is pretty straightforward here’s how you do it!
Adjust the time for your sleep goal by using the + and – buttons.
Tap Done to finish setting up.
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Merging One Or More Sleep Sessions
If Pillow detects more than one sleep sessions and those sleep sessions are less than 6 hours apart, you can choose to merge them into one following these steps:
Open Pillow on your iPhone
Tap on the sleep session summary you want to merge
Tap on the three dots at the top right corner of the screen
Track Your Sleep History
If you use your iPhone when you’re supposed to be in bed, you won’t get credit for that time. Or, if you snooze the Wake alarm, the time that you stay in bed updates to match.
Data from Bedtime also automatically appears in the Health app.
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What Does The Apple Watch Track
If youre just in it for the basics think general sleep trends you may be satisfied. The Sleep app will track your total time asleep and track each time you woke up throughout the night, as well as your and . It will also record how much time you spend in bed and provide weekly and monthly sleep time averages. This data is based on your motion during Sleep mode.
Notably, the app offers the option to create multiple sleep schedules, including a chosen bedtime, preferred wake-up time, , and sleep goal. Based on the schedule you set, your device will automatically enter Sleep mode .
Manually Turn It On Every Night
Swipeup to the Control Center on your Apple Watch, tap on the Do Not Disturb icon, and then tap on the “Sleep” tab.
You can also do this on your iPhone, which will then automatically put your Apple Watch into Sleep Mode, too. To do this, swipe down to the Control Center, tap on the Focus tab, and then tap the Sleep icon.
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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 To View Your History In The Health App
To track your sleep analysis in iOS 13, open the Clock app, tap the Bedtime tab, then tap “Show more in Health.” Your Sleep Analysis shows the amount of time that you spend in bed or asleep.;
Bedtime in the Clock app tracks time that you spend in bed, but not how much you sleep or move. Your Apple Watch also doesn’t track sleep or time in bed.
To track how much time you sleep, try using a sleep tracker with the Health app. You can also manually enter how much time you sleep: Open the Clock app, tap the Bedtime tab, then tap “Show more in Health.” In the upper-right corner, tap Add Data.;Learn more about the Health app.
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Update Your Full Schedule
You can also turn off your sleep schedule as needed. In the Health app, tap Browse > Sleep > Full Schedule & Options. Then tap Sleep Schedule at the top of the screen to turn your schedule off or on.
The Sleep Diary View:
In the Sleep Diary view you can see two sleep rings: One for the Time Asleep and one for the total Sleep quality for that day . When Pillow detects any sleep for that day, it will display one or more Sleep summaries, each representing one detected sleep session.
You can tap on a Sleep summary to open the detailed Sleep Analysis for that session. Scroll up and down to view a breakdown of the various sleep stages. Swipe right/left to view your other recorded sleep sessions.
Note: In Automatic mode Pillow will try to detect sleep automatically in the background or when you launch the app. You can also force Pillow to check for an available sleep session by swiping down.
How To Change The Settings
Discover Important Sleep Trends
Pillows sleep statistics are designed to be easy to understand and rich with information. Quick glanceable summaries inform you about important sleep metrics.
Want to delve deeper? Each metric offers weekly, monthly and yearly views with rich information. Compare your sleep quality and other sleep metrics with your Steps, Weight, Caffeine consumption and many more.
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What Else Do I Need To Know About Sleep Tracking With My Apple Watch
As with any form of Apple Watch tracking, sleep tracking works best if you’re wearing your Apple Watch on the correct wrist and comfortably. If the watch is too loose, the accelerometer might register too much movement from you, even when you’re asleep. Wear it too tightly, and you’re probably going to feel somewhat uncomfortable trying to sleep.
As well as that, you may need to change when you recharge your Apple Watch. You need your watch battery to be at around 30% or more for it to track your sleep all night successfully. Otherwise, the Watch will tell you to charge it up beforehand.;
For those with the Apple Watch SE or Apple Watch Series 6, this will be less of an issue, but older models will definitely need a solid top-up at some point before you head to bed. We recommend hitting your Stand goal for the day then sticking your Watch on charge for an hour or so before bed, such as when you’re unwinding reading a book or watching TV. That way, it should last the duration.;
Finally, consider buying a watch strap that will be more comfortable to wear in bed. It’s not essential but if you need plenty of comfort while you sleep, it could help.;
Getting Sleep Report Notifications In Automatic Mode
You can choose to let Pillow send you a notification whenever it detects any sleep sessions. The notification will come as typical iOS notifications and will contain a short summary of your sleep session and a graphic representation for your Sleep Summary.
You have the option to enable/disable that notification or choose the time you wish to receive that notification.
IMPORTANTThis feature requires that you have given Pillow permission to send you notifications.
4.3 “Sleep session setup”
Inform Pillow at which time you usually go to bed so that it can determine on which date a detected sleep session should be attributed to.
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Data Tracking With Pillow
At the end of a sleep session, Pillow will tell you the number of hours you slept. Swipe down the screen to see the quality of sleep, both for the previous night and past nights. Swipe further to see how much time you spent in each cycle of sleep and how long you were in bed versus how long you were asleep.
You can also launch Pillow on your iPhone to run it from there or just see what data it records and how it works with your Apple Watch.
In the settings for Pillow on your iPhone, you can opt to always sync the data with the Health app, or you can manually sync it by tapping the Sync button in the Apple Watch app. After the data has synced, open the Health app and segue to the section for Sleep. By default, the app shows all data from any sleep app for which you’ve given permission.;
What Do You Need To Use Apple Watch Sleep Tracking
You probably already know, but youll need an iPhone and an Apple Watch if you want to track your sleep.
Youll need to update your Apple Watch and iPhone to watchOS 7 and iOS 14 respectively. You can download these updates right now, but keep in mind that theyre in beta, so they might have a few bugs.
Still, there are many great things coming to watchOS 7 and iOS 14, so it would be worth it if you try it out.
Fortunately, watchOS 7 is coming to the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, and Apple Watch Series 5, so you wont have a problem if you have an older Apple Watch. Keep in mind, though, the Sleep app might consume your battery life, so older models might have a hard time keeping up at night.
And dont forget, you can install iOS 14 on an iPhone as old as the iPhone 6s, so theres a high chance you can try it out right now.
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