Apple Watches are great for tracking your fitness and activity levels, but many people don’t know that the watch can also track sleep. This blog post will tell you how the Apple Watch works to monitor your sleep patterns. Sleep has always been important for our mental health, physical well-being, and overall quality of life, however, it has come more to the fore over recent years. Sleep problems affect over 50 million people every year with serious consequences on their health. But did you know? Apple Watches have a built-in technology that monitors your heart rate throughout the night as well as when you’re awake so it’s easier than ever to understand what affects your sleep quality!

With Apple’s watchOS 7, Apple has made available the ability to track your sleep. The feature works with all Apple Watches from Series 3 onwards and it is anticipated to work with all future watches in the same way. It is worth noting that sadly the feature is not compatible with either the first or second generation of Apple Watch.

The feeling that Apple would release software to track sleep was much anticipated although the feature has been widely available using 3rd party apps Apple has now enabled this feature natively within its own watchOS7.

So, How Does The Apple Watch Track Sleep?

The Apple Watch uses its sensors to detect physical movement; the app uses this information to then decide if you are awake, or asleep, it’s really that simple. This does however mean that for the feature to work, you need to wear your Apple Watch overnight. This brings with it a need to alter our charging habits. Most of us are used to charging devices overnight but to utilise the sleep tracking feature, you’ll need to change to a routine of charging the Apple Watch in a period of inactivity.

Fortunately, they are conveniently charged and this may be as simple as charging it in the evening when you are doing other things. With the sleep tracking feature enabled, if you do go to bed with a battery percentage below 30, the watch can notify you it needs charging.

Once you have enabled sleep tracking, it stays active unless you disable it.

Apple Watch Sleep Tracking – The Importance Of Battery Life

With battery life being an important factor for the feature to work successfully, the later the series of Apple Watch the better performance you’ll see. From tests, we’ve seen that all but older Series 3 models have sufficient battery life to last through the night on partial charge. With the Series 3, it may be wise to top up the charge before bedtime – the lower battery performance is down to a combination of factors such as; age of the device and better technology in newer models.

Whilst in sleep mode unlocking the Apple Watch requires you to twist the digital crown – as you would when leaving a swimming pool. Sleep mode can be disabled but you will lose the ability to track your sleep. You can also set the watch to not track your sleep but keep sleep mode enabled in the options.

To view your sleep tracking data and graphs, simply open the health app and go to browse then pick Sleep. The information can be viewed for a single night or the field widened to see a month’s sleep. Each day’s data is limited to time asleep vs. time in bed.

Setting Up Your Apple Watch To Track Sleep

During setup, you can choose the ideal time you wish to be asleep. For most, this might hope to be 8 hours. You can choose bedtimes and wake times for each day of the week, and weekends.

Setting your relaxation time in the evening can be linked to Siri, and used to control home automation features, like lighting and heating. You can also use this to prompt a chosen playlist in your music library.

You are able to set alarms on both your Apple Watch and your iPhone through the sleep app. However, you will need to disable the existing alarms on the iPhone, if you do not wish them to sound.

Creating A Sleep Schedule – Another Great Feature

Having a Sleep Schedule is another great way to make the most of your Watches sleep tracking capabilities for a number of reasons. To enable a schedule, on your iPhone clock app, the feature called Sleep, renamed from Bedtime for the long-term users out there. This is where you can enable the sleep tracking feature on your Apple Watch. With it enabled, you can now create a sleep schedule.

You have the option of setting a timed wind-down period before your bedtime. During this period your Apple watch enters sleep mode. The screen is dimmed and the device locks, whilst The Do not Disturb feature is enabled. This can be changed within setup or at any future time.

An early low charge warning can be set to remind you to charge your Apple Watch if the battery percentage is below 30%. This can be up to an hour previous to bedtime.