The Most Comprehensive Guide on Apple Watch Sleep Tracking
If you think you are not getting enough sleep or the quality of sleep is not that great, you can turn to your Apple Watch for help. In the past, you could download a third-party app on your Watch to track your sleep, but Apple launched its own sleep tracker with WatchOS 7. It was a simple tracker that got the basics covered, but it didn’t have all the bells and whistles that recorded every aspect of your sleep. However, Apple is about to change that game with its WatchOS 9.
Announced on September 7, 2022, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the Watch’s OS will get a significant upgrade that can track sleep stages, deep sleep, and how often you wake up at night. The improvements on the Apple Watch's sleep tracking front are only one of the few new health features on the Watch launching this year.
With the current configuration, the Apple Watch is limited to only showing the user an estimation of the hours they’ve slept. But with the upgrade, it’s going to show the user how long they were asleep, and the amount of sleep they got in every stage of sleep such as awake, REM, core, and deep by leveraging the Watch’s heart rate sensor, accelerometer, and some machine learning. During the event, Apple said that it used polysomnography—a benchmark for tracking sleep in clinical sleep studies— to train its machine learning.
Upon waking up, a graph of your sleep time and sleep stages will be available on your Apple Watch to view. If you want to see a detailed report, you can see in-depth sleep reports with respiratory rate data, and heart rate data on the Health app on your phone.
Other wearables such as Garmin devices, Fitbits, and the Whoop band have advanced sleep tracking features for years now, but it will be Apple’s first attempt at it.
How to Track Sleep on Apple Watch
Apple Watch sleep tracking synchronizes with the iPhone clock’s Bedtime feature, so you create a schedule by turning it on.
Before your preset bedtime, it’ll help you prepare for sleep with a wind-down time as it dims down and enters ‘Sleep Mode.’ Simultaneously, the Watch automatically turns on Do Not Disturb, but you can manually disable it.
In Sleep Mode, you have to turn the Digital Crown to unlock the Watch. It is the same process when you step out of a swimming pool. It can be a bit irritating. However, you can disable the sleep mode, but after that, you won’t be able to track sleep.
Note: If you have anything above Series 4, it will last the night if you charge it at some point during the day. With Series 3, however, you have to fully charge it in the day to last a whole night.
Apple Watch sleep tracking focuses on the quantity of time spent in bed. This feature will know that you’re awake in bed and not asleep and using your phone.
To know the results of your sleep, you have to:
- Navigate to Browse
- Go to Sleep in the Health app
- Tap on any option available to see a graphical representation of your result.
- You can also see a monthly result of your sleep tracking
The App Store has boatloads of medication tracking and reminder apps, but Apple is about to make them outdated with its latest Medication tracking app. This app will be available for both iPhone and Apple Watch.
With this brand new app, you’ll be able to choose any medication you take, both those you take occasionally and daily. Just type in the medicines you take or use the camera to scan the prescription label. Once the list of medications is prepared, you can set reminders to take the medication and document when you take them. More importantly, the app will tell you if certain medication has a critical interaction with another or other substances such as alcohol.
Heart Health Updates
With its ECG app and irregular rhythm notification, the Apple Watch has the ability to detect atrial fibrillation (afib). Now, folks with chronic afib will get the ability to keep tabs on their condition through AFib History. This new feature will help them track how many times a day their heart is in AFib. The app will also gather insights as to how many times it happens and when it happens the most.
When you turn on the AFib History, you’ll receive weekly notifications related to your heart’s activity. Also, on the Health app, you’ll be able to see a detailed history of AFib episodes. Along with this, you’ll get insights on lifestyle factors that impact AFib such as alcohol, sleep, and exercise. Lastly, you can share this insight with your physician.
What About Battery Life?
So, does the Apple Watch track sleep better than other smartwatches? Absolutely, but is the new WatchOS battery efficient? To answer this, you’ll have to make a plan to charge your Watch. The two main options are: after waking up or before going to bed.
Some people might prefer to charge it before bed or after waking up. If you charge it before bed, you’ll be up and running as soon as you wake up. And if you recharge it in the morning, you’ll have to wait until you are ready to leave for the office. Either way, it can last you a whole day. In case you need a midday charge, we recommend keeping an extra charge on your work desk.
How to Set Up Sleep Tracking?
Apple Watch sleep tracking setup is a fairly easy process. You just have to follow the steps below:
- Make sure your Apple Watch has WatchOS 7 or later and your iPhone has iOS 14 or later.
- Go to the Health app on your iPhone and configure sleep. You can also do this on your Apple Watch.
- First, select how long you are going to sleep. You can’t track it on the iPhone Activity app, but you can see it on the Health app on your iPhone.
- Then you choose when bedtime starts and when you want to wake up. There are a lot of options here, so choose carefully. Do you want it to be set for weekdays or every day?
- You’ll have to set a relaxation time before going to bed.
- Next, you can also decide to not set an alarm or how you want it to sound. It won’t replace your existing alarms.
It is important to note that your alarm will go off on your iPhone if you don’t have your Watch on you. And if you want to configure your alarm sound, you can do that as well. If you put your Watch on silent, it will only vibrate. Lastly, you can view your sleep patterns on the Health app on your iPhone.
With the new update, the Watch just became the best Apple Watch sleep tracker. Earlier it had just the basics of tracking sleep, but now you can track sleep on a much granular level. It can help you sleep better by tracking pre-sleep bad habits and improving them. Also, it helps you track sleep stages, deep sleep, and how often you wake up at night. Other than that, you can also track your medication and heart health in a better way.
Apple Watch Sleep Tracking - FAQs
1. Is the Apple Watch good for sleep tracking
2. Does Apple Watch track deep and REM sleep?
3. How to activate Sleep Tracking on Apple Watch?
4. Can Apple Watch silently wake you up?