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How to Track Your Sleep Using Apple Watch

Apple Watch on wrist

Apple Watch can officially track your sleep with the watchOS7 update. This major upgrade puts the watch in competition with other sleep trackers like Garmin Vivosmart and Oura Ring.

When Apple announced watchOS7 back in June they also unveiled their Sleep app. What can you expect from the new app when it finally rolls out to your watch? Let’s take a look at whether its tracking capabilities can compete with the likes of Withings and Amazon.

How do you access the Sleep app on Apple Watch?

The first thing you’ll need is an Apple Watch that is capable of running watchOS7. The following models are capable of tracking your sleep:

  • Apple Watch 3
  • Apple Watch 4
  • Apple Watch 5

You’ll also need an iPhone running iOS14, which requires an iPhone 6S or newer.

The new watchOS7 hasn’t fully rolled out yet. You can expect that your Apple Watch will receive the update by the fall. If you don’t want to wait you can enroll in the watchOS7 beta to try out the new Sleep app before anyone else gets it. You can sign up for the Apple software beta program here.

Apple Watch tracks your sleep consistency over a 14 day period.

How it works

Similar to most other smartwatches and fitness trackers, Apple Watch monitors your sleep using an accelerometer motion sensor. The sensor can tell the difference between when you’re awake and active and when you slow down your movement to sleep. Apple references that data against their algorithms to accurately determine when you’re asleep.

You can also create an “ideal” sleep schedule that includes reminders about when you should go to bed and even features a wind down mode to help you relax before bed. You can dim the lights, play relaxing music, and even start up a meditation app to help you drift off. The app also includes a do not disturb mode that prevents the screen from activating once it’s bedtime.

The Apple Sleep app also has wake-up sounds to help you get your day started. The screen will show you how much time you slept, the weather, and your battery life.

Apple requires you to have at least 30% battery life to use the Sleep app. If you don’t have enough battery life, the smartwatch will remind you to plug it in. Once it has enough power, your Apple Watch will alert you so you know it’s ready to help you sleep.

The new Sleep app can show you how much time you spent asleep.

Viewing your sleep data in the app

You can view the data on the Sleep Watch app in your watchOS or iOS health app by navigating to the sleep subsection.

The screen will show you the amount of time you slept, your heart rate, average time in bed, average time asleep, and it will also show your sleep consistency over the past 14 days (comparing how much sleep you got last night to how much you got on other days).

About Apple Watch

Apple Watch is a series of smartwatches created by Apple that offer productivity and health tracking features. It joins the iPhone, HomePod, iPad, and Mac as one of the biggest parts of the vaunted Apple ecosystem.

The smartwatch needs to be paired with an iPhone for full functionality, so if you’re an Android user you might want to look elsewhere for your sleep tracking needs.

The watch was first released in 2015 and Apple has released a new version every year. The current model is the Apple Watch Series 5, which was released in September 2019.

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