Can Sleep Tracking in iOS 14/watchOS 7 Help You Sleep Better?

Originally published at: Can Sleep Tracking in iOS 14/watchOS 7 Help You Sleep Better? - TidBITS

Apple has added sleep tracking technology to iOS 14 and watchOS 7 that, when you wear your Apple Watch to bed, records when you’re in bed and when you’re asleep. In an ideal world, the data could help you identify factors that hamper your sleep, but the data is messy and may not tell you more than you already know.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Apple Unveils Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

This covers it well. And, yes, if you’re a good sleeper who sticks to a sensible regimen, this tech won’t do you much good. But for a knucklehead like me who just can’t be trusted to go to bed early enough, being confronted every morning by those ugly numbers — regardless of whether they’re super-precise — has been motivating.

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Yes, the data is messy (plus I don’t even have the Watch) but the new sleep schedule has definitely helped me crawl closer towards midnight.
Not there yet but I used to go to bed between 4 and 5, sometimes 6:30 (working from home office, so…) and meanwhile I’m getting closer to 2 and 3.
Setting up a few reminders that nag me from 23:30 on also helps.

Some people try to comfort me by saying, “well, you simply are a night owl”, but that’s just not true, I am NOT happy with wasting the sunlight hours and having become less social. However, I have sometimes wished I had a 36-hour day …

I hoped that the new Apple Watch might have had the ability to track blood oxygen levels during sleep and alert the wearer if they dropped - similar to a lot of the other devices on the market that fit on a finger. Sadly not, and it seems that in any event wrist measurements of blood oxygen are more tricky than finger based ones. That would have really helped my partner though - and been a lot less intrusive to wear when sleeping.

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So when would you charge your watch, during the day? Mine is charging at night which precludes wearing it. Perhaps it is a feature Apple added to make people buy a second, nighttime watch! :wink:

I’ve read that the people who use sleep tracking charge their watches whenever they can when they’re unlikely to use or need the watch. Supposedly it charges fairly quickly (I wouldn’t know, since I put mine on the charger at night and leave it overnight).

Years ago I used a Withings Pulse to track my sleep. (I doubt they even make them anymore.) The information wasn’t useful, so I stopped using it.

While getting ready for bed (maybe about 20 to 30 minutes most nights) and again in the morning while showering and getting ready for the day. That’s almost always sufficient, even on days when I do a workout (which is most days).

I do keep a charger on my desk so that I can give it a boost during the day if I think it’s necessary. That doesn’t happen very often.

Yes, during my testing, I just followed the Apple Watch’s charging reminders, which had me put it on its charger while I was getting ready for bed and again while getting dressed in the morning, and it was always fully charged for the day. It charges surprisingly quickly and loses little power overnight.

I put mine on charge when it wakes me up in the morning. I get up slowly, so it’s generally fully charged by the time I’m ready to go. My night time routine doesn’t allow me to charge then.

There’s a way to game this. I set my bedtime to 10pm: because my wife generally goes to bed around then, and if I do too, then I don’t want the watch lighting up.

But I generally don’t go to bed til an hour or two later.

My sleep tracker usually thinks I’ve gone to bed at 10pm, even on a day when I also got credit for washing my hands, and climbing a flight of stairs at 11pm. It thinks I was asleep through all of that!

My conclusion is that the sleep tracking is very inaccurate. Maybe unless you already have a good routine.

I’ve been using the AutoSleep app on my Apple Watch and iPhone for over a year. Apple’s Sleep protocol does not work for me since I have a variable get to bed and unalarmed wake time.

Here is my procedure for beginning sleep:

  1. Place the phone on the charging dock on my iHome speaker-charger.
  2. Start the Apple Music Chill Mix in shuffle mode
  3. Hit the timer icon in the iPhone control panel and count down 30 minutes with the action ‘Stop Playing’ preset for the timer action.
  4. Put the Watch in Theater Mode so that the display is off until the face or a button is tapped. (I have ‘Do Note Disturb’ scheduled on the phone and watch over a time span that encompasses my sleep window).
  5. Open AutoSleep from the Watch Dock and tap the Lights off button so that I will be able record the how long it takes me to fall asleep (usually 2-10 minutes).

So, having established this habit, the new Apple Sleep options don’t do anything for me.

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