One of the most insightful and popular features of an Apple Watch is the ability to track sleeping habits. Of course, there are some considerations to make. For one, nighttime is precisely when people do not want to be disturbed by notifications. Another is that people wear the watch during the day, so nighttime is typically used for charging.
Most of the sleep tracking has been, to this point, accomplished on Apple through third-party applications. However, with the release of the watchOS 7 last year, the Apple Watch now supports sleep tracking as a native feature. However, there are still ample choices for third-party sleep tracking apps to perform the function if that is the preference.
It would be nearly impossible to collate every sleep app. So we’ve gathered the 8 best Apple Watch sleep tracking apps that we felt performed best in various ways, and put together this helpful list for you. Let’s talk about them and what makes them a great choice.
Best Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Apps Featured in this Roundup
Before watchOS 7, any sleep apps used on the Apple Watch were the third party provided. But now there is a native sleep tracking app that you can easily use to perform many essential techniques.
The app also tried to cover many areas of concern regarding apple watches. One aspect is a “sleep mode” that the watch enters at night. This hides the watch’s typical face, showing only the current time, along with the alarm set on the watch.
The “rise-to-wake” feature is also disabled with the app active since movement typically causes the watch to light up, not something preferable during sleep. The watch collects sleep-related information that can then be viewed through the iPhone app at a later time.
The drawback here is that the data is generally basic, primarily showing the length of sleep, as well as the heart rate during it. As this native sleep tracking app is new, it has a ways to go before catching up to the multiple features offered by more robust third-party apps.
Pillow: Sleep Cycle Tracker
The Pillow sleep cycle tracker is a free app, though a user gets more out of the $4.99 premium version. It has a vibrant design that is easy on the eyes.
The app presents information about sleep patterns based on heart rate, movement, and sound to the user in nicely rendered, clear, intuitive charts, and includes lots of details.
One notable aspect of this app is that, unlike many other apps, it tracks not only the light and REM sleep but also the actual time of sleep.
Using this information the app then presents users with a sleep quality score and a graph of nightly heart rate. All of the data can be viewed in detailed sleep reports.
The premium version also features a Sleep Lab which allows for a deeper dive into sleep profiles, as well as various sounds and melodies to serve as one’s optimal wakeup alarm.
Arguably the easiest sleep monitoring app to use is AutoSleep Tracker For Watch. It does not need to be told that the wearer is going to bed, it detects this on its own. This makes it a more automatic function that the user does not need to always remember or think about.
There are times when the Apple Watch battery will die during the night. This can skew sleeping averages. To avoid that, AutoSleep makes it easy to just wipe that night’s data off the overall sleep record.
The information is rendered with a nicely thought out activity ring interface that can be viewed in an assortment of arrangements and includes sleep rating, duration of sleep, readiness, REM sleep, and nightly heart rate.
It also allows you to set a goal for achieving sleep, and lets you perform a weekly tally of how you did. This is specifically useful to those who are trying to get their 8 nightly hours, helping them decide what nights they need extra sleep, and what nights they can stay up a bit longer. All of this for just $3.99.
Available as a free app, or with a $29.99 per year premium subscription version, the Sleep Cycle app offers many different sleep tracking features allowing you to understand your sleeping patterns without even needing to wear the watch to bed.
The free version includes tracking sleep through sound tech and an accelerometer, sleep analysis, heart rate monitor, shake-to-snooze feature, detailed daily stats, and light alarm melodies meant for wake-ups during light sleep.
The premium version also includes a customized wake-up window period, capture of sleep talking, snoring, and other sounds, as well as sounds and stories to help the wearer fall asleep faster.
The data presented can be graphed over long-term time periods to monitor how sleep patterns develop over time, compiling trends and comparison metrics.
It also affords a deeper analysis of how external factors like coffee consumption, stress, late meals, or work affect sleeping habits. For those interested in retaining their sleep data long-term, the sleep data can be exported to spreadsheets and even backed up online.
Another quality, free sleep monitoring app is Sleep Watch. It monitors your heart rate, specifically for when it’s slower, associating that with more restful sleep.
Other features include advanced tacking options, some of which are available through a premium version, including tracking blood oxygen levels during sleep. The premium version costs $4.99 per month or $29.99 annually.
The app offers a lot of data for the users to find actionable, though it is not presented quite as intuitively as some other sleep apps. In fact, the presentation slightly hinders the experience as it feels like data overload without a good way to present all of the statistic breakdowns.
The NapBot app is another good sleep tracking app option that will detail track heart rate during sleeping hours, assess ambient noises to better assess sleep quality factors, and provides data for light and deep sleep periods.
The premium version for $9.99 will additionally provide sleep history reports, detailing sleep patterns and trends, and even supports a calendar historical view of sleep logs, allowing for better future sleep planning. It even works for those who like to take their mid-afternoon naps.
Sleep ++ is among the most popular sleep tracking apps for the Apple Watch not just because it’s free, but because it is simple to use. The app does have ads, which can be removed with a premium version, but they are not overwhelming.
The app does all of the sleep trackings automatically, with a very simple interface that lets you start and stop your sleep time, with data tracked during the running time. It can be companioned with Apple Health, automatically being set to port sleep data to it.
The data is not overly insightful and not as detailed as some other third-party applications, but the extended trend of sleep feature available does make for a nice tool for those interested in getting an idea of how their sleep patterns have evolved (or devolved) over time.
Sleep Pulse 3 does most of the work for the Apple Watch user, including monitoring their heart rate, motion tendencies, and middle-of-the-night wakeups. Of course, it will also log the history of nightly sleeping patterns.
This $3.99 app can also keep track of noises, sleep talking patterns, and shorter naps. The app has been updated along with the Apple Watch so every version is optimized to display ideally on any Apple Watch model.