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How to track sleep on your Apple Watch

Are you dozing off at the breakfast table or feeling lethargic early in the day? You may be getting too little—or even too much—sleep.

Your Apple Watch® can help you find out. All you need to do is wear it to bed and use an app to monitor your z's. Doing so can help you figure out what's wrong and how you can get a more restful night's sleep. We'll walk you through the process.

At Asurion, we teach you how to make the most of your favorite devices, whether you want to use your phone as a scanner or connect it with your smart watch. Here's how to track sleep on your Apple Watch.

Use the Health App to track sleep on your iPhone

To start using your iPhone® to track your sleep, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the Health app on your home screen.
  2. Under Set Up Sleep, tap Get Started and then tap Next.
  3. Follow the onscreen prompts for:
    1. Sleep goals. Set the ideal number of hours to sleep per night. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that teens get 8 to 10 hours and adults get 7 or more to feel rested.
    2. Bedtime and wake-up times. Set a reminder for the time you'd like to go to bed and wake up.
    3. Sleep Focus. Set your phone to reduce distractions at bedtime.

Set up your Sleep app

Next, it's time to set up the sleep tracker on your Apple Watch. It has a built-in Sleep app (available on the SE, Ultra, Series 3, or newer versions). This app lets you set your bedtime schedule and find out how well you slept overnight by recording your movements, your heart rate, and other data. It'll even check your sleep trends over the past 14 days.

To set it up, make sure you've paired your watch to your phone (You can only pair an Apple Watch with an iPhone 6 or newer versions).

If you're having trouble, check out our guide for what to do when your Apple Watch won't pair to your phone.

Once you're paired, open the Watch app on your iPhone and follow these steps:

  1. Open My Watch and tap Sleep > Use this Watch for Sleep.
  2. Turn on Track Sleep with Apple Watch and Charging Reminders.

Don't want to use the app? You can set it up through the Health app on your iPhone, too.

  1. Tap Browse Sleep.
  2. Under Set Up Sleep, tap Get Started > Next.

Create your sleep schedule and sleep focus

Your Apple Watch lets you set the number of hours you want to sleep and choose what your devices can do while you're snoozing. Here's how:

  1. Open the Watch app on your phone.
  2. Open My Watch, and tap Sleep.
  3. Turn on Manage Sleep Focus in Settings.
  4. Under Schedule, select an evening wind-down time (you'll be told it's almost time for bed) and a morning wake-up time (with or without an alarm).
  5. Under Sleep Focus, go to Notifications > Allow Notifications From > + Add People. Your device will only allow those you add here. It'll silence other contacts until your wake-up time.

To further tailor your sleep schedule—you may want to change it just for one night or for different days of the week—open the Health app on your iPhone then follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Browse icon at the bottom of the screen, then tap Sleep.
  2. Under Your Schedule, tap Edit to set the schedule for tonight, then tap Done.

For more options, tap Full Schedule & Options, then set the permanent schedule based on days of the week.

How to track sleep on your Apple Watch

Ready to start tracking your z's? You'll need to charge the battery on your watch before your wind-down time. Don't worry. If it's fully-charged, your battery should last through the night.

Then, all you need to do is strap on your Apple Watch and wear it while you sleep. It'll transfer data to your phone while you're sleeping.

How to view sleep data and history

When you wake up, check the Sleep app on your watch to find out how much—and how well—you slept. On your screen you'll see:

  • Time asleep
  • Sleep stages (awake, rapid eye movement, core, and deep sleep)
  • A record of your sleep for the past 14 days

For more details, open the Health app on your iPhone. Go to Browse > Sleep and check out the sleep data on the bar graphs. They include comparisons of your sleep stages, which your body cycles through multiple times throughout the night, spending about 90 minutes in each.

With an Apple Watch Series 3 or later versions, you can even track your respiratory rate and the number of breaths you take per minute—a vital sign that helps measure your sleep quality and overall health. Just click on Heart Rate to see your beats per minute, another important vital sign, or Respiratory Rate to check your breaths per minute throughout the night.

Try other sleep tracking apps

If you're still not getting a good night's sleep, or if you want more detail about your resting hours, you can download another sleep app to use with your watch. If you're running watchOS® 6 or later, you can browse the apps on your App Store®.

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Discover > Explore Watch Apps and click the search icon.
  3. Type in “sleep trackers" or you can search for a specific app like AutoSleep, which includes a smart alarm, or Pillow, which records sounds during the night to tell you if you're snoring or talking in your sleep.

Why didn't my Apple Watch track my sleep?

If you wake up in the morning and your watch didn't track your sleep, there are several things to check.:

  • Did you charge your Apple Watch battery? If your battery dies in the middle of the night, the device won't track.
  • Is your watch tight enough around your wrist? If your Apple Watch is too loose, it may register that you're tossing and turning when you're sound asleep. Tighten up your watch to get an accurate reading.
  • Did you pair your Apple Watch after you set up Track Sleep with Apple Watch? In the Watch app on your iPhone, tap the My Watch tab, then tap Sleep > Track Sleep with Apple Watch.

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