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.
I recently bought the 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 sleep app for Apple Watch 3 and 4. 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.
Best Sleep Apps For Apple Watch
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.
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 app’s ‘Automatic sleep tracking’ uses the Apple Watch hardware to 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. 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 gives you a history of your sleep analysis and defines the worst and the best sleep cycles. These features come with a premium version of the application, available for a one-time purchase. Premium features also include sound recording, sleep cycle comparisons, sleep notes, napping modes, selection of wakeup sound, sleep music and export feature for your data.
Download 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.
Like most sleep tracker, it shows you the daily sleep time and your sleep cycle. But in addition to that, it also 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.
Download Sleep Watch (free, $2.99 for the Premium version)
3. Sleep Cycle alarm clock
Sleep Cycle alarm clock is tricky sleep tracking application. 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.
The app has nothing but a single screen with a start button. It does not support automatic sleep tracking 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 the iPhone, it’ll monitor the motion through two given options, microphone or accelerometer. The Smart alarm rings when you are in light sleep and snoozes itself when you double tap the side table.
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.
Download 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 a major 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.
Download Sleep++ (free, $1.99 for the Premium version)
5. Sleepzy – Sleep Cycle Tracker
An alarm app smart enough to track your sleep analysis through your Apple Watch. Sleepzy is a simple application available on iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.
The app interface on Apple Watch is too basic with just a timer to set an alarm. Although you can set an alarm from your Apple Watch it is not an absolute stand-alone app. You will need to activate the app from your iPhone and all further settings are also operational from the phone itself.
For the app to analyze your sleep properly you’ll be required to set a sleep goal. The app, of course, doesn’t support automatic sleep tracking. It however does uses motion and sound recording while sleeping to ascertain the amount of deep sleep. The app offers you to wake up to the sound of your favorite music which could be added to the app from Settings > Music > Add Music.
The app records and keeps stats of sleep history, wake up timings, heart rate etc. The premium version of the app offers advanced stats, sleep notes and a feature where you can listen to the sleep recordings. Also, the ads stop annoying you for a price.
Download Sleepzy-Sleep Cycle Tracker (free, $40 yearly)
Beddit is not exactly a stand-alone sleep tracking app for Apple Watch. Instead, it’s an Apple-owned sleep tracking device (cost $150) that you need to place under your bedsheet to track body movements, which later send that data to your Beddit app availalle for your iPhone and Apple Watch.
Beddit not only records your sleep time but also records your heart rate, sleep efficiency percentage and breaths per minute. It is really something for a device that is not wearable.
The app interface on Apple Watch allows you to see your overall sleep score. Additionally, you can set little nap times from your watch itself. They are also calculated as your sleep time which is a unique feature here.
Download Beddit (free)
7. AutoSleep Tracker for Watch
Last but not least, the most popular choice of Apple Watch users is AutoSleep Tracker for Watch.
While most features of the AutoSleep Tracker are already available in the above apps, it still differs. The app provides both auto sleep tracking and manual sleep tracking. But it differs in term of how you trigger manual sleep tracking. All you have to do is take off your watch and it starts sleep monitoring and ends when you wear it in the morning.
While it might not seem so practical, but sleep monitoring is pretty accurate. You can see the data analysis in the iPhone app as well as the Apple Watch app. You can also set various complications in Apple Watch faces which pretty much seem like native health app complications.
AutoSleep makes itself comfortable in Apple ecosystem and you can feel that if you use Siri shortcuts for the app. The Lights off feature integrates with Siri shortcuts and HomeKit app.
Download AutoSleep Tracker for Watch ($3)
Which is the best Sleep App for Apple Watch?
Of all the applications that we tested these 7 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.
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