Does The Apple Watch Have Enough Battery To Track Sleep
Battery life has been pointed to as a reason why Apple might have been reluctant to offer its own sleep tracking app in the past. Apple still states an 18 hour battery life for its smartwatch, which hasnt changed since the first Watch. Any battery improvements have been canceled out by features like the Apple Watch 5s always-on screen.
To make sure you have enough battery to track sleep through the night, Apple requires your watch to be charged to at least 30% to enable it.
If you dont, the Watch will prompt you to charge before going to bed. When its got enough juice, your phone will alert you that its ready to join you in bed. In our time we found that sleep tracking sucked up around 20% battery on average, so its definitely going to impact how much battery youre left with in the morning.
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.
Making Data Easily Accessible
While wearables don’t do a perfect job of recording your sleep times, they can present the data to you in an easily digestible format graphs and charts through the companion app, for example.
Plus, many offer extra features that can help you chart changes in your sleep over time and spot patterns so that, over time, you can build up a good picture of how your daily behaviours impact your sleep, and vice versa. And simply being more conscious of the need to get more sleep can encourage better sleep behaviour which can, in turn, lead to better sleep.
Don’t get too concerned about the data from your smartwatch or fitness tracker, though. Dr Heather Morgan, lecturer in applied health sciences at the University of Aberdeen, and a specialist in digital health and fitness tracking, told us that wearables can help you better understand your sleep, and that analysing her own sleep had helped her achieve a better sleep pattern.
‘But’, she adds, ‘use your judgement and know your personality. If you’re prone to anxiety, sleep tracking may not be for you. Trying to perfect your sleep could be one more thing to fixate on, which could, ironically, stop you sleeping’.
What Do You Need To Access The Apple Watch Sleep App
Youll need an Apple Watch that is capable of running watchOS 7, the last major software update set to roll out for Apples smartwatch. Youll also need an iPhone that runs iOS 14, which requires an iPhone 6s or later.
WatchOS 7 and the Sleep app are compatible with the following devices:
So if youve got an original Apple Watch or a Series 1 or 2 model, youre sadly out of luck here.
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.
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.
Best Health Apps By Far
Autosleep and Healthwatch are simply incredible apps and a must for anyone interested in their health. I am a physician and a bit obsessed with data. Ive tried a dozen health tracking devices and even more apps and these two, by far, are the most insightful and well designed apps for the iPhone and Apple Watch. Ive spent hours over the last couple months reviewing the various trends and graphical analytics these apps offer for immediate and long term feedback on my sleep hygiene and heart health. My only wish is that the developer make more apps to track other aspects of health and wellness . These two apps pack so much analysis into a concise and easy to read manner, I wish the other wellness aspects that I track could offer as much insight. While those would require ground-up brand new apps, one thing which could possibly be incorporated into the HeartWatch app would be the ECG data. Even though its only one lead, tracking QTc and PR intervals should be doable. Just a thought for future iterations. Anyway, these apps are an incredible deal and offer way more for far less than anything else Ive found on the App Store. Keep up the good work.
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:
How Garmin Tracks Sleep
Many Garmins – those with optical heart rate sensors – offer what Garmin calls Advanced Sleep Monitoring .
These include the Garmin Fenix 5 and 6 series , Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series , 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.
What About Battery Life
Before you start tracking your sleep with Apple Watch, youll need to make a plan for when youll charge your watch. There are two primary options here: before bed or after you wake up in the morning. One key change for me has been at my desk rather than on my nightstand.
For me, its much easier to charge before bed every night. I wake up and workout first most mornings, so I have to make sure my Apple Watch has enough battery for workout tracking. If I put my Apple Watch on the charger at around 8 p.m., after Ive already reached my stand goal for that day, it usually has a full charge by the time I head to bed at 9:30 p.m. And when I wake up in the morning, I almost always have more than 90% battery left more than enough to make it through the day.
Plus, on the days when I need a mid-day recharge, having the on my desk makes that a lot easier.
This works perfectly for me, but your routine is probably different than mine. The key is to come up with a plan that you can replicate every day. Whether thats charging in the morning or at night, or a combination of both, its a lot easier than you might think to change your Apple Watch charging habits.
Of course, there is also always the option of repurposing an old Apple Watch as your dedicated sleep watch. 9to5Macs Zac Hall previously explained how to do that. You could also pick up a model to do this.
Do Sleep Apps Work When You Share A Bed
It is possible that if you have a sleeping partner including a pet, then the data can get messed up. However, sleeping with a partner is less of a risk because the apps are designed to track motion of the nearest person. A pet jumping in the bed may prove to be more problematic to the data when compared to another human.
The Autosleep Tracker App
The app tracks your sleep in two ways. If you wear your Apple Watch to bed, the app automatically calculates your sleep; if you dont, the app calculates your sleep based on the time you didnt wear the device, and when you first access your iPhone the following morning.
The initial setup process asks if you wear an Apple Watch to bedjust tap Yes or No.
To change this setting later in the AutoSleep app, tap Settings in the bottom-right corner.
Before you use AutoSleep, youll want to configure it here, as well. To do so, tap Settings and, on the following screen, scroll down to the Configure section and tap Wizard.
Here, you see two toggles: I Wear My Watch to Bed and Want to Track Sleep Quality and If I Dont Wear My Watch to Bed I Want to Track My Sleep Based on the Time the Watch Was Not Worn.
You already set the first option in the initial setup process, but you can change it here. If you dont wear your Watch to bed, enable the other toggle, and the app will track your sleep based on the time youre not wearing your Watch.
Tap OK to continue.
On the next screen, you can set a night hour, which is the hour before you close your eyes for the night. It only offers one-hour increments between 5 p.m. and 12 a.m. The idea is to help you keep a positive sleep bank and force yourself to stick with a consistent sleep schedule.
Tap OK to continue.
Tap OK to continue.
Tap OK to complete the wizard.
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.
How To Edit Your Sleep Schedule On Apple Watch In Watchos 7
Once you’ve created a sleep schedule, you aren’t stuck with it. You can edit the sleep schedule at any time by following the steps below.
Tap the wake up time to adjust the time you want to wake up.
Tap the sound you want.
Tap back to return to the main Sleep menu.
You can use these steps to edit your sleep schedule whenever you want and as many times as you want.
Where Can I View My Sleep Data
Once you’ve slept a few nights wearing your Apple Watch, you want to know how you’re doing, right? Fortunately, the Health app is fairly comprehensive at offering insight here.
1. Open the Health app on your iPhone.
2. Scroll down and tap Browse.
3. Tap Sleep.
4. Browse the various graphs available to you that show how well you’re sleeping on each day of the week.
You can get insight into your sleep duration, the average time in bed, and the average time asleep. It also tracks your heart rate which is a good sign of seeing how well your body is recovering from the day and whether you’re generally in good health.
Typically, heart rate during sleep can vary between 40-100bpm depending on how much you’ve been exercising, drinking, and if you’re dreaming or having a nightmare.
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.
Paid Membership: 1 Month Free Then $2999/year To Get Trend Data And Premium Features
has the unique feature of a built-in alarm with a “Wake up phase,” that automatically wakes you up at the optimal time, based on your sleep pattern. Set the time you need to wake up by, and the app will wake you up to 30 minutes before when you’re in your lightest phase of sleep. You can adjust that time frame in the app if you want a longer window of time before you’re woken up.
If you buy the paid version , you’ll unlock premium features, like a sleep aid to provide you with soothing sounds, weather alerts when you wake up, and heart rate monitoring.
Although the features may be better than the other apps, you won’t receive a data analysis of your sleep cycle.
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 .
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.
Edit Your Sleep Schedule On Your Apple Watch
If you need to update your sleep schedule, you can make changes to your full schedule or for Next Wake Up Only. With Next Wake Up Only, the changes you make apply only to the following day. Changes made to your full schedule apply to all future days.
If you’re up before your scheduled Wake Up time, you can exit sleep mode. Turn the Digital Crown to unlock your Apple Watch. Then swipe up to open Control Center and tap the Sleep app icon.
How To Track Sleep
Sleep tracking is like a sleep recorder using your own bodys signals. Our company, Bodymatter, built the very first Sleep App to transform the Apple Watch into an automated sleep tracker Sleep Watch. As an apple watch sleep tracker, SleepWatch lets you simply wear your Apple Watch to bed and effortlessly wake up to insightful sleep details. SleepWatch is like a sleep coach on your wrist, it learns your routine and offers suggestions to help you improve. You can add this feature to your Apple Watch by downloading Sleep Watch from the Apple App Store. Sleep Watch is free to download and use. WatchOS 6 ready.
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.
Pillow: Sleep Cycle Tracker
Pillow has one of the best user interfaces among all the sleep tracking apps for Apple Watch. The app features a nice bottom menu bar with big buttons, menus, and eye-popping sleep graphs to read the data.
The company touts the app as the smart sleep assistant that helps you analyze the sleep cycle using the Apple Watch.
My favorite function is the smart alarm clock. Over time, the app reads your sleep data and only wakes you up when it finds the lightest possible sleep range. One can also record audio such as sleep snoring and sleep talking.
Pillow syncs perfectly fine with Apple Health, and you can view and manage all the data from Apples default app as well. Other features include Sleep trends, Sleep notes, mood tracker, nap modes, sleep tips, and more.
Read our full review on .
Which Tests Of Sleep
We don’t test how accurately a wearable can track sleep stages. However, for those that do offer sleep tracking, we look at how detailed and easy to understand the sleep data is and how plausible the sleep durations seem.
If you do buy a wearable for sleep-tracking, make sure you pick one that’s light and comfortable enough to keep on your wrist all night. There’s no point buying one that’s big and bulky, as you’re simply not going to want to wear it. Bear in mind that fitness trackers are smaller and often more conformable to wear than smartwatches, so this might be a better bet, and use our fitness tracker reviews and smartwatch reviews to find a model that ticks the boxes.
How To Use Sleeping Respiratory Rate Tracking On Apple Watch
Well, after reading all that, if you are wondering how to use sleeping respiratory rate tracking on Apple Watch, heres how to do just that.
- Make sure you have sleep tracking enabled on your Apple Watch. If you dont, you can check out our article on how to enable sleep detection on Apple Watch.
- You will also need to and update Apple Watch to watchOS 8 to get the feature. By the way, if you are not a developer, you can still as well.
- Now, you just need to ensure that you are wearing your Apple Watch to sleep, and it will start tracking your sleep respiratory rate.
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.
How To Check Sleeping Respiratory Rate
So we have started tracking our sleeping respiratory rate, but how to see your data? Well, you can do that in the Health app on your iPhone. Just follow the steps below.
- Open the Health app on your iPhone and tap Browse on the bottom navigation bar.
- Tap on Respiratory under Health Categories, followed by Respiratory Rate to see your sleeping respiratory rate data.
How To Edit Apple Watch Alarm Sounds & Haptics
We all have individual preferences on the best ways to wake up. Your Apple Watch offers haptics, a unique kinetic way of communicating with you through vibrations. These can be set to different intensities and rhythms based on your preference.
Once this is set up, the alarm will go off on your Apple Watch if you wear it to bed, or on your iPhone if you’re not wearing your watch.
Pro Tip: If your schedule changes unexpectedly, you can always change your alarm for just the upcoming day. Open the Clock app and tap Change under Sleep | Wake Up. Once you toggle off the alarm, you’ll be asked if you want to change the alarm schedule altogether, or just for that day.