Your Apple Watch does not come with an inbuilt sleep tracking application but it does come with the essentials like accelerometer, gyroscope, and heart rate sensors etc, that are the necessary hardware required to track your sleep.
So, I recently brought Apple Watch and wanted to find out the best apps for each genre. So, far we have seen best note taking, best heart rate monitor and best timer apps for Apple watch. And Today, let’s talk about the best Apple Watch sleep tracker app. With the help of some great third-party applications, Apple Watch can help you understand your sleep better and might just make a real difference. And no, you don’t have to install and surf through all of these because we have tested some for you. Let’s begin.
Apple Watch Sleep Tracker App
1. Pillow Automatic Sleep Tracker
Pillow is one of the most popular applications when it comes to understanding your sleep better. It is a multi-device application available on iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.
On your Apple Watch, Pillow is a stand-alone application and works without your iPhone or iPad once the account has been set-up. The interface is quite basic yet sufficient. The welcome screen shows you a daily cycle of quality sleep percentage and hours of sleep recorded. Swipe up a little and you’ll see a ‘sleep session graph’. Tapping on the graph will show you your awake time, light sleep, REM and deep sleep which totals to ‘Time in bed’. Time in bed here is different from Time asleep which is also represented separately by the Pillow app.
The basic settings which are available on all devices, let you turn on the ‘Automatic sleep tracking’ that uses the Apple Watch hardware and the inbuilt health app data to record and summarise the perfect data calculation of your sleep cycle, which in our case was accurate up to 95%. The Apple Watch has to be worn at all times when Automatic Mode is turned on. For the manual mode even keeping your iPhone near your pillow will suffice as it records movements and sound data to calculate sleep which we will not vouch for.
The settings also let you set a sleep cycle to set goals for a sound sleep. It lets you record sounds while you are asleep (not available in automatic mode). And it offers an effective method of waking you up which is termed as ‘Smart Wakeup’ that gently wake you up after your sleep cycle is complete and at a specific point when you are in a light sleep.
Pillow, of course, gives you a history of your sleep analysis and defines the worst and the best sleep cycles of the month for you. But then these features come with a premium version of the applications and you can access with a one-time purchase payment. The premium features include sound recording, sleep cycle comparisons, sleep notes, napping modes, selection of wakeup sound, sleep music and export feature for your data.
Get Pillow (free, $4.99 for the Premium version)
2. Sleep Watch by Bodymatter
Sleep Watch gives one of most organized display of your stats which can be refreshed by extreme up/down swipe or even a force touch/ 3D touch. The application connects with your inbuilt health app like any other sleep tracking app apart from using the specific hardware of your watch.
The app shows you your daily sleep time which accounts to your time in bed, your sleep cycle which can be set as per your will using the app on your iPhone and is similar to a goal. The application, in addition, shows a sleep charge percentage which basically is your sleep goal average for past 3 days and in a way, gives you a track of the sleep that you’re losing. Then comes the ‘average sleep heart rate’ which in itself can be a definition of how well you’re sleeping, followed by a ‘sleep heart rate dip’ tab that explains how your heart rate is going down in sleep. Heart rate dip feature will, of course, require a pool of data to calculate dip rate.
Some additional stats include ‘Restful sleep’ which is a calculation of hours that you are mostly still in, while asleep. A Rhythm calculator will, however, tell you how well have you been following your sleep cycle timings/goals followed by a ‘Restedness’ tab that shows how rested you felt upon waking up that morning. At the end of the screen on your Apple Watch, there will be a barcode with hourly representation which tells your light sleep (white lines) and deep sleep (dark lines) for the current day.
Sleep Watch is a stand-alone application and doesn’t require an iPhone to manage your sleep analysis, that said, you can access some features only on the iPhone. The application supports automatic sleep tracking so you don’t have to manually press any button before you go to bed, which by all means would have taken away all the charm of this application.
It worked pretty well for us and there is only one inaccuracy that you’ll feel in the sleep time calculation. The application starts calculating sleep time past one hour of your resting. If you wake up before an hour to use the washroom, the app wouldn’t count the first hour in the current sleep cycle. Otherwise, the application works just fine.
Get Sleep Watch (free, $2.99 for the Premium version)
3. Sleep Cycle alarm clock
Sleep Cycle alarm clock seems like a normal alarm clock but rather is tricky sleep tracking application. It is available on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch and although it is capable of being operated from your Apple Watch alone (just like all the previous apps), there is nothing much to do on Apple Watch which defeats the purpose of being a stand-alone application.
The app has nothing but a single screen with a start button. This application does not support automatic sleep tracking yet and has to be manually activated through any of your devices. You can use the crown to set a wake-up time and start the cycle by pressing the start button. The application will automatically prompt you to put your iPhone face down on the side table with the charger connected.
Confused? here is the catch, while you can activate the application via your Apple Watch and the sleep cycle would start. But It will still need the assistance of your iPhone to wake you up by an alarm of your choice at the end of the selected sleep cycle. Not so stand-alone, now is it?
While you can activate the application on iPhone, it’ll monitor the motion through two given options, microphone or accelerometer. Keep the phone on the side table while using the mic whereas right next to you when using the accelerometer. The Smart alarm rings when you are in light sleep and snoozes itself when you double tap the side table.
The sleep stats collected via both health app and inbuilt hardware of your Apple Watch is only on your iPhone. It covers the basic heads like In bedtime, sleep time, wake time and deep sleep time. Features like daily stats and hour graph, weekly hour graph, sleep quality analysis, and activity data amongst others are only available in the premium version of the application, and it doesn’t come cheap!
Some other premium features include online backup, sleep aid music, sleep notes, heart rate, Airplay, snore detection and much more. One intuitive and extraordinary function that Sleep Cycle offers is its connection with Philips Hue lights. Connect your Smart lights with this application and it wakes you up by lighting the room in your favorite color.
Since the automatic sleep tracking is missing in this application, there was really not much to test. Otherwise, the given functions work as promised by the developer. The ultimate question is if you really want to spend the amount of money this application demands. If yes, is it worth it? Do let us know if you choose to experience the premium version.
Get Sleep Cycle (free, $25/year for the Premium version)
Sleep++ seems to have been specifically made for the sole purpose of sleep analysis for Apple Watch users. The application takes its job quite seriously and provides the perfect sleep analysis and nothing extra.
The application has almost no interface except for a manual start button to start your sleep cycle manually. Although it shows the previous data under the start button. We could not see any such display of data on Apple Watch what so ever.
Although it supports automatic sleep tracking. From our experience, the application uses the accelerometer and health app data to analyze the sleep cycle. FYI, Apple Watch is the source for the health app data.
Sleep++ offers a morning sleep summary, sleep cycle history and a night sleep goal time that notifies you to go to bed at a specific time every night just like the bedtime function in iPhone and iPad.
The data consists of total bed time, restful time, restless time, awake time and the best sleep hours. This comes with an additional feature to adjust the night hours manually if you feel the data is not accurate.
This application has to offer in the free version which is also the case in the premium version. So what is the difference? Well, you pay a one-time fee to remove the small ads from the bottom of your iPhone screen.
The application was pretty much accurate as was the case with other applications with an auto sleep tracking feature. The price of the application and the fact that its only 6 MBs in total, we’ll say it’ll sell.
Get Sleep++ (free, $1.99 for the Premium version)
Apple Watch Sleep Tracker App
Of all the applications that we tested these 4 came up to be the best with the accuracy in results. Although similar to each other because of the same hardware that they use and the common data from the health app. All these apps still differ at some or the other point. Be it the size of the application or the price, each one of these has something different to offer. We have experienced them and we wait to hear your experience in the comments section below.
Also Read: 15 Best Free Apple TV Apps (2018)