All You Need To Know About The Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Features
We all have days when we wake up feeling refreshed, and others where we feel like we have hardly slept at all. It is never clear what separates the good nights and the bad ones, but you can get valuable insights from a sleep tracker. Your sleeping patterns are monitored to give you a clear picture of your sleep quality. The information helps you optimize your sleep experience.
Unlike lab-based sleep tests that track sleep through brain activity, sleep trackers usually rely on sensors to detect different physical signs, like body movement or heart rate. All the data is uploaded to a device, and afterward, its run through an algorithm that analyzes and displays the results. First, we will look at the Apple Watch Sleep Tracking capabilities and how it works.
With the new WatchOS 7 update, it is now possible to track sleep with your Apple Watch. The update works with the Apple Watch Series 3,4,5 and the latest Apple Watch Series 6. Sleep tracking has been a much-needed feature for the Apple Watch. It was previously available, but only on third-party apps.
Currently, there are sleep tracking apps that use motion to detect sleep time. To track sleep, you must wear your Apple Watch. The good thing about it is that you set and forget. So your sleep is tracked without you having to do anything else.
How Does Apple Watch Track Sleep Quality
Track your sleep on Apple Watch and use Sleep on iPhone to set it up. Getting enough sleep is important for your overall health. The Health app on iPhone can help you identify the file. Set your dream goal. If necessary, adjust the desired amount of sleep on your iPhone or Apple Watch. Open the Health app and. Change your sleep schedule on your iPhone. When you need to update your sleep schedule, you can completely change it. Change your sleep schedule on Apple Watch.
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 .
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What Things Do You Do To Get Better Sleep
- Get up at the same time every day. Sleep cycles are determined by your body’s circadian rhythm, and you can regulate it by waking up at the same time.
- Take a lot of sun. In one study, people who worked near windows received 173% more natural white light during the day and slept at an average of 46°C.
- Take the time to exercise.
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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Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Features
There are quite a few sleep-related functions that your Apple Watch is capable of performing. These include:
- Sleep goals to help you sleep the right number of hours
- Reminders that you should get ready for bed to make sure you get enough sleep
- A selection of alarm sounds and haptics to start your morning off right
- Sleep mode to help you wind down and avoid distractions prior to hitting the hay
- Vitals and motion tracking to measure how restful your sleep is
You can manage all of these in the Health app once you set up tracking. To learn more Apple Watch tricks, sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter.
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.
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Change Or Turn Off Your Next Wake
Open the Sleep app on your Apple Watch.
Tap your current bedtime.
To set a new wake-up time, tap the wake-up time, turn the Digital Crown to set a new time, then tap Set.
If you dont want your Apple Watch to wake you in the morning, turn off Alarm.
The changes apply only to your next wake-up alarm, after which your normal schedule resumes.
Note: You can also turn off the next wake-up alarm in the Alarms app . Just tap the alarm that appears under Sleep | Wake up, then tap Skip for Tonight.
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.
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Where To Find Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Data
When you wake up in the morning, you will see a visualization of your nights slumber, including periods of wake and sleep. You will also see a chart showing your weekly sleep trend.
This data will be integrated into a new Sleep section on the Healthapp on your iPhone.
There you will get insights about your sleep and sleep schedules as well as how they vary over time.
Sleep tracking and all its useful features will also be available in iOS 14 on your iPhone even if you dont use an Apple Watch. What are your thoughts about it? Let us know in the comments below. Also, in case you have an older Apple Watch that does not support watchOS 7, there are many third-party sleep tracking apps you can use.
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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.
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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.
How To Turn Off Your Sleep Schedule On Apple Watch In Watchos 7
Sometimes you may not want to use the sleep schedule or sleep tracking abilities of the Apple Watch like on vacation so you’ll want to turn off your sleep schedule so it shuts the whole thing down.
Tap the Sleep Schedule On/Off switch. When the switch is gray, your sleep schedule will be disabled.
If you’ve turned off your sleep schedule for any reason, you can turn it back on with just a few clicks by following the same steps outlined above.
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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 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.
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.
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Its All About The Wind Down
Wind Down is the integral benefit of Apple Watch sleep tracking. Ive never known what to do with myself in that weird period between finishing an episode of Ozark and remembering my evening skincare regime.
My iPhone makes that half-hour a little more intentional by initiating a series of pre-selected shortcuts during my Wind Down window. It launches Spotify so I can turn on some relaxing music and opens up my calendar so I can wrap up my day by knowing whats on tap for tomorrow. I added a shortcut for Amazon Alexa so I can make adjustments to my Philips Hue lights before bed, too.
You can completely skip this element of Apple Watch sleep tracking, but I found it plays nicely with the notion of routine Apple seeks to achieve.
Colorful Trend Analysis And Adjustable Sensitivity: Sleep Tracker
This app allows for you to adjust the sensitivity of the movement detection so restless sleepers still get credit for their zzzzz’s.
Trend graphs are easy to read, along with providing daily summaries.
It takes some patience to adjust your sensitivity to accurately track sleep/wake times, especially for naps.
FitBit users might recognize the look of Sleep Tracker it closely mimics the sleep tracking function on FitBit. This app allows for automatic sleep tracking for both overnight sleep and daytime naps! The compilation report will tell you how your sleep habits are shaping up.
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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.