How to Use Apple Watch Sleep Tracking

Create bedtime schedules and monitor your rest

What to Know

  • To set up sleep tracking, open the Health app and tap Browse > Sleep > Get Started. Set your schedules.
  • Under Additional Details, tap Wind Down to configure the amount of time you want to spend relaxing before bed. 
  • Edit sleep settings on your Apple Watch by opening the Sleep app and tapping your current schedule.

This article explains how to set up and use the Apple Watch's sleep-tracking feature, which requires watchOS 7 or higher.

How to Set up an Apple Watch for Sleep Tracking

You'll use the Health app on your iPhone to set up your Apple Watch for sleep tracking. Here's how it works.

  1. Launch the Health app on your iPhone and tap Browse.

  2. Tap Sleep.

  3. Scroll down to the Get More From Health section. Under Set up Sleep for Watch, tap Get Started.  

    iPhone Health app with Browse, Sleep, and Get Started highlighted
  4. Tap Enable.

  5. Under Your Schedule, tap Sleep Schedule.

  6. Tap the Sleep Schedule switch to turn it on (green). This also enables Use Schedule for Sleep Focus, which automatically turns on Focus Mode. (You can turn off this feature if you want.)

    iPhone Health app Sleep settings with Sleep Schedule highlighted
  7. Under Full Schedule, tap Edit to add or change a daily bedtime and wake-up time.

  8. Tap Add Schedule to add an additional schedule. For example, you may want a weekend schedule that allows you to sleep later.

    iPhone Health app Sleep settings with Edit and Add Schedule highlighted
  9. Under Additional Details, tap Wind Down to configure the amount of time you want to dedicate to relaxing before bed. 

    iPhone Health app Sleep settings with Wind Down highlighted
  10. Tap Sleep Goal to set your desired amount of sleep time. Your goal will be used when tracking your time in bed.

    iPhone Health app Sleep settings with Sleep Goal highlighted
  11. Tap Track Time in Bed with iPhone to track how often you pick up and use your iPhone during the night.

  12. Tap to enable Sleep Reminders so the Health app notifies you about Wind Down time and Bedtime.

  13. Tap to enable Sleep Results. This allows the Health App to let you know if you're meeting, exceeding, or missing your sleep goal.

    iPhone Health app Sleep settings with functions highlighted
  14. Tap Manage Sleep in the Apple Watch App to set up specific Apple Watch sleep-tracking settings. You'll be sent to the Watch app's Sleep section.

    iPhone Health app Sleep settings with Manage Sleep on Apple Watch highlighted
  15. Tap to enable Track Sleep with Apple Watch. This allows our watch to track your sleep and save the information to the Health app.

  16. Tap to enable Charging Reminders, so your watch will remind you to charge it before you go to bed.

  17. Tap Manage Sleep Focus in Settings to customize your sleep schedule. You'll be brought to the Sleep Focus area of your Focus settings. Here you can permit notifications from specific individuals and apps, customize your Lock Screen and Home Screen, and confirm your sleep schedule.

    iPhone Watch app sleep settings with Track Sleep with Apple Watch, Charging reminders, and Sleep Focus highlighted

    You can also set up sleep tracking directly on the Apple Watch by launching the Sleep app and following the prompts.

How to Edit Your Apple Watch Sleep Settings

You can modify your sleep settings at any point via the Health app or the Apple Watch. Here's how to edit your Apple Watch sleep settings directly on the Apple Watch.

  1. On your watch, press the Digital Crown and tap Sleep from the list of apps. 

  2. To modify your wake-up time, tap your current schedule and adjust your settings. Change your bedtime and wake-up time, turn off the alarm, or change your alarm sounds and haptics. 

    Apple Watch Sleep app with Sleep, Bedtime, and Wake Up highlighted
  3. To change settings for another day, scroll down, tap Full Schedule, and then make your changes. 

How Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Works

After settings up your sleep schedule, your Apple Watch and iPhone work together to track your sleep, including the time you spend in the three sleep stages (REM, core, and deep). You can also view this information on your iPhone's Health app by tapping Browse > Sleep > Show More Sleep Data.

Here's a breakdown of what you can expect from Apple Watch sleep tracking.

If you have a Series 3, you will probably need to ensure your watch is close to fully charged, while the Series 4 or higher should have no trouble making it to the morning with as little as 30 percent battery at bedtime. 

How Wind Down Works

Shortly before your specified bedtime, Wind Down will begin. Wind Down turns on Focus Mode and displays the Good Evening wind-down screen on your iPhone, hiding most iPhone features.

To start the shortcuts you specified for the wind-down period, tap Shortcuts to see a pop-up window with your shortcuts.

What Happens at Bedtime

At bedtime, your watch's display will go dark to minimize distractions and conserve battery. You can tap the display to see the time or spin the digital crown to unlock the display and temporarily return it to normal. After you stop using the display, it will go dark again until morning.

Your iPhone display will change to its Sleep Well page, which hides most iPhone features (though you can still launch your Wind Down shortcuts). 

What Happens in the Morning

When morning comes, your watch will vibrate to wake you, and your selected wake-up alarm will sound. You can tap Snooze or turn off the alarm from the iPhone's screen or your Apple Watch. On your phone, you'll see a welcome screen; dismiss it to use your phone normally. 

To view your sleep history, open the Sleep app on your Watch and scroll down to see how much sleep you got the previous night and how much time you spent in REM, core, and deep sleep. You can also view your sleep average over the past two weeks.

Which Apple Watch Models Track Sleep?

Many fitness bands and smartwatches offer sleep-tracking capabilities. While the Apple Watch wasn't the first on the scene, it began offering this functionality in watchOS 7. Sleep tracking is supported on Apple Watch Series 3 through 8. If you own a compatible watch, make sure you have installed the latest version of the Apple Watch OS to track your sleep.

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