Can an Apple Watch track sleep?

They may be packed full of high-tech and useful features, including everything from a continuous retina display to an ECG and heart rate monitor. But can an Apple Watch track sleep? It’s a question that most potential buyers ask – and the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

No in-built capability

Technically speaking, no, this isn’t a feature provided by Apple. When fresh out of the box, not even the latest edition – the Series 5 – or the most recent Watch OS has an in-built sleep tracking feature.

The reasons why are still unclear. Perhaps because of the device’s limited 18-hour battery life? Or because it would be uncomfortable in bed? Either way, Apple appears to be avoiding the introduction of an Apple Watch sleep tracker, in favour of various health and heart health functions.

Third-party Apple Watch Sleep Apps

Despite not having an in-built sleep tracker, the Apple Watch does have the necessary equipment (i.e. a series of state-of-the-art sensors) to make sleep tracking possible. That’s why, in recent years, many third-party applications (apps) have been introduced to fill the gap in the market.

These ‘Apple Watch Sleep Apps’ can be downloaded, either for free or at a small cost and – by utilising the device’s sensors – will successfully monitor and analyse your sleeping pattern. There are hundreds to choose from, but some of the best sleep apps for the Apple Watch include:

1. Sleep Watch by Bodymatter

This was the first to transform the Apple Watch into an automated sleep tracker. Scientifically-informed, it’s designed to monitor several aspects of sleep that can affect your health, well-being and performance – and, what’s more, it’s available completely free of charge.

2. Sleep ++

Also available for free, this automatic sleep tracker takes advantage of the motion and health monitoring capabilities of the Apple Watch. Clear and easy to understand, it can be used to measure both the duration and quality of your sleep. It also allows you to set a ‘smart’ alarm – which will wake you up in a light phase of sleep and claims to leave you feeling fresh and more alert.

3. AutoSleep Tracker

An ideal option for someone who doesn’t wish to wear their watch in bed. This app will track sleep duration, from the moment you undo your Apple Watch strap, to the moment you put it back on in the morning. For those who are happy to wear their device in bed, it will also measure sleep quality, restlessness and more – and present the data using slick Apple Health-style visuals.


Turn your Apple Watch into a sleep tracker

If you do decide to download an Apple Watch sleep app, we have a couple of handy tips:

  1. Turn off the ‘Wake Screen’

Every time you raise your arm, the screen of the watch will activate and light up – potentially disturbing your sleep. Therefore, when using an Apple Watch sleep tracker, it’s a good idea to turn this function off. To do so, simply swipe up on the watch face and enable ‘theatre mode’.

  1. Use the ‘do not disturb’ function

Notifications could also potentially wake you up throughout the night. As such, we recommend scheduling ‘do not disturb’ to come on automatically during your normal sleeping hours. This can be done by simply going to the iPhone Apple Watch App > General > Do Not Disturb.

  1. Choose a comfortable Apple Watch strap

If you plan to wear your device 24-hours a day, it’s more important than ever to choose a comfortable strap. Here at Apple Watch Strap, we have a diverse range of options to choose from – including various sports and rubber bands that are perfect for use with your Apple Watch sleep app.


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