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I want to use an Apple Watch 2 to track my sleep. In order to achieve this I will need to wear the Apple Watch during sleep, which creates an issue around battery usage. So my thinking is that I can put the watch on charge twice daily on most days: in the morning while getting ready for work and again at night while getting ready for bed. By doing this I estimate the battery will have enough power to keep the watch going 24/7 on most days.

Obviously this means I need a sleep tracking app to do the tracking. My requirements are:

  • It must be highly efficient in terms of battery usage
  • It can track sleep while the watch is in Airplane mode
  • It can synchronise data with the iOS Health app on my iPhone
  • It must be able to provide a summary of my sleep on the Apple Watch itself

NOTES:

  • I do not mind paying for the App if doing so results in me getting a much better product
  • I am open to using 3rd party devices if it means the quality of tracking/measurements are much higher
  • While not a requirement, if the app also supports syncing data with other HealthKit apps that would be a plus

I did consider posting this in the Software Recommendations community, but it didn't seem to have the appropriate tags.

  • I use Sleep++ by Cross Forward Consulting. I've been pretty happy with it. It syncs with HealthKit. Check out the screenshots and see if that does what you need. – TMHahn Oct 10 '16 at 5:51
  • @Monomeeth I'm interested in doing this same thing. How has your experience been with the app you chose? Did it meet your requirements? – fsb Jan 4 '17 at 21:13
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    My experience has been pretty good. Sleep++ is certainly power efficient and meets my other 'must have' requirements. It's not perfect (e.g. you need to manually start/stop sleep tracking, and there's no heart tracking during sleep). But it's free (with ads) so you can give it a good try before paying to remove ads. It's also fairly well supported (someone I know was having problems, but a quick email got everything sorted). For me, I found giving the Apple Watch a charge while I'm in the shower/getting ready for bed and again in the morning while getting ready for work is enough. – Monomeeth Jan 4 '17 at 22:29
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    I've also had reports that HeartWatch is an extremely good app (it's not free, but is more than just a sleep tracker and also tracks your heart during sleep). I'm seriously considering purchasing it. As an aside, Apple is working on a native sleep tracking app, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with (although it may not be ready for watchOS 4) and I'm not sure what limitations (if any) it will face with current hardware. – Monomeeth Jan 4 '17 at 22:29
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    @SkeletonBow Sorry, I somehow missed your comment. No, I didn't purchase HeartWatch in the end. I decided to stick with Sleep++ until Apple offers their own solution. Hoping for an Apple Watch 3 announcement sooner than expected. :) – Monomeeth Aug 9 '17 at 9:50
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I thought it was time to share my experiences with using sleep tracking apps on my Apple Watch.

Not long after posting the question I downloaded Sleep++ and used that for quite a while. Sleep++ works well. It is power efficient and met most of my requirements. It's not perfect (e.g. you need to manually start/stop sleep tracking, but it's free (with ads - but the ads don't appear on the Watch) so you can give it a good try before paying to remove ads. It's also very well supported by the developer.

My hope was to use this app until Apple's own implementation of a sleep tracking app in watchOS was released. But since this wasn't ready in time for watchOS 4, and since I upgraded to a new Series 3 Apple Watch, I decided it was time to look at another sleep tracking app - namely one that doesn't require me to manually start and stop it (for those times I forgot, or those times I dozed off unintentionally).

I settled on AutoSleep which is a paid app. I've been using it for a couple of weeks and have been very impressed with how well it works and how it meets all my requirements.

It can automatically detect your sleep (assuming you're wearing the watch) or you can use it manually (similar to Sleep++ but without having to wear the watch). Obviously using it manually is not going to provide all the measurements, but it's equivalent to what Sleep++ could do.

Also, if you're wearing the watch, you can manually enable the Lights Off option. This is not necessary, and since one of the best selling points of this app is that it automatically detects your sleep without manual intervention, you may not want to opt for this. But if you do, it tells the app that you've officially gone to bed (hence the 'lights off' label) and the app will also track how long it takes you to fall asleep after going to bed. Useful if you want to also track that metric.

One of the other great features of the app is that on the iPhone you can tweak it to suit your sleep. That is, the app provides some nice measurements and graphs to illustrate your sleep and, if you notice it hasn't detected your sleep accurately enough (e.g. you know you woke up during the night and the app hasn't detected that), you can alter how sensitive it is or isn't to tracking your sleep. For me, I've never had to tweak it. It has accurately recognised my start sleep time, as well as my restlessness and any time awake in bed during the night. It has also detected times that I've dozed off in front of Netflix, while reading a book, etc regardless of the time of day!

All in all I am very happy with this app and it's very close to how I imagine Apple will implement its own version.

As there is no free version available, feel free to ask me any questions about this app in the comments below.

NOTE: I am not affiliated with this app in any way.

  • I'm going to point out (after reading a review on AutoSleep and its description) that AutoSleep has no functionality for attempting to wake you when you stir (based on movement or whatever else), a.k.a. a "smart alarm". It is probably clear that the algorithms and UI of this app are still worth the asking price, nevertheless. – Steven Lu Nov 3 '17 at 3:49
  • @StevenLu This is true and I don't think it's something that the developer is likely to implement, although if enough people ask, who knows? I have to admit I've seen quite a few apps that promise to wake you at the most optimal time around your alarm time, but I haven't tried any of these and am a little skeptical (since most of them seem to only be iPhone apps). That said, if the feature was added to AutoSleep I'd certainly try it out for a week or so to see how well it works. – Monomeeth Nov 3 '17 at 4:10
  • I’ve used an app on my pebble to do this for at least two years. No doubt one day Apple will provide this to us with great ux but that day is not here yet – Steven Lu Nov 3 '17 at 14:47

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