What is the reason my Apple Watch lights up too early?

In the last week, my Apple Watch 7 has been lighting up in the charger at night. My wife postulated something about the meteor shower (when I first glanced at it last week there were stars or colored twinkling displayed (I was using the Snoopy face).

Today it turned on at 6;30 am. Usually it will just light up, but since I sleep in a very dark room, is noticed by me. The iPhone it is paired with is on the same night charger and it does not turn on. No notifications appear. I end up dropping it into my bedside drawer to get the extra hour of sleep.

I believe that the watch is very sensitive to movements around it and will light up on the charger when its motion sensor detects something. It sounds like you are not using the nightstand mode for charging (which displays the time and date in green and any alarm set in white at the bottom) - so it may also be received notifications. Do you use a “do not disturb” or other focus mode overnight to prevent notifications?

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If you use Sleep Focus, you can schedule when the watch will stay dark. You must declare a schedule when you set up sleep focus, but using it is optional. I manually turn the focus on and off.

Another way to keep the watch from lighting up automatically is to turn on Cinema mode in the control center. The icon is the drama-style style face mask. The intention of this mode was to allow you to silence and darken the phone when it might disturb other patrons in a theater, but before sleep focus, it was the way I kept my watch dark during sleep.

Surprisingly that didn’t work for me and it still lit up too early. it’s not getting a notification, so it must be some other trigger. I know it lights up for movement to show the “bedside clock” function. Will have to see if there is a way to turn that off and see what happens.

Could this be the feature where the screen lights up and gradually brightens, in the five minutes before an alarm? (That’s controlled by “Bedside Mode” in General settings.)

I think you meant Nightstand mode.

Maybe Bedside / Nightstand is a localisation? It’s Bedside in my watch settings.

Could be. I see you’re in New Zealand; I’m in the United States.

Well through trial and error (the scientific method in action) I determined that the stand charger is not charging the watch consistently. Looking at the reviews of it, I see that it is buried in there with similar complaints from other people.

Intoval Wireless Charging Station, 3 in 1 Charger for Apple iPhone/iWatch/Airpods,iPhone15,14,13,12,11 (Pro,Pro Max)/XS/XR/XS,iWatch9/8/Ultra2/1/7/6/SE/5/4/3/2,Airpods Pro2/Pro1/3 (A3,Black) https://a.co/d/iXSHWZG

Difficult to find a reputable manufacturer that will design a nice product and make it to last. Belkin and Anker do not have the design I want and not sure what other brands to trust. Always a crapshoot