The big Apple Watch Series 5 unveiling brought us an always-on display and new looks, but it still didn’t give us the native sleep tracking app we’ve been craving.
We really thought that this would be the year that Apple added sleep tracking to its smartwatch, and there were strong rumors indicated that it was coming for the Series 5. But Apple is clearly not ready to show its sleep tracking cards just yet.
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Fortunately, there are third-party options that deliver advanced features and metrics to explore if you do want to track your sleep from your Apple Watch.
We’ve picked out eight of the best apps to transform your Apple Watch into a top sleep tracker right now.
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This is our favorite of the bunch, as it stands. As the name suggests, AutoSleep’s key feature is that it works automatically, unlike many of the other sleep tracker apps that require you to tell them when you’re getting into bed. AutoSleep takes the thinking out of the process, but it’s also good when it comes to accuracy. When put up against a dedicated sleep tracker, it produced close results, but you can tweak the sensitivity for better accuracy.
£2.99, Download AutoSleep
Sleep++ is one of the most popular Watch sleep apps going, with one of its biggest selling points being its simplicity. The app is incredibly bare-boned, showing you a start button, stop button, and a little blue chart to display your sleep patterns. And that’s it. Like AutoSleep, it can also write your sleep data to Apple Health and will automatically log sleep when activated on the companion iPhone app.
Free, Download Sleep++
The first thing that struck us about Pillow was how vibrant it looked, but it’s not a bad little sleep tracker, either. It uses a combination of movement, sounds and hear rate to follow your patterns, and presents the data in gorgeous, easy-to-read charts.
Like the two options up top, you can now also automatically track your sleep letting you see your sleep reports and analysis when you wake up including sleep breakdown and stats like time spent in bed. There is a premium subscription option that also gives you access to features like sleep aid programs and the ability to view weekly, monthly and annual trends.
Free (in-app purchase for premium), Download Pillow
4. Beddit Sleep Monitor
Now owned by Apple, Beddit is one of the best sleep tracking companies out there. Its Apple Watch app, however, doesn’t actually do the tracking, but relies on the sleep monitor sensor you’ll need to buy. What the Watch app does do, however, is track and recommend daytime naps.
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Yes, this is a daytime sleep tracker. It can take a look at your sleep score, recommend a quick 30-minute power nap after lunch and off you snooze. It’ll wake you up with a silent alarm and update your sleep score.
Just be aware that Beddit’s cloud storage has now ended, which obviously makes its older devices much less helpful. The silver lining within that, however, is that Apple/Beddit launched the Sleep Monitor 3.5 – perhaps signalling that the company is gearing up to prioritise its sleep tracking efforts.
Free, Download Beddit
HeartWatch is a neat app that really digs into your heart rate data, and provides alerts if it notices any unusual, potentially concerning, activity. It also tracks your sleep, overlaying the HR data on top, so you can see your waking and sleeping heartbeat, and how they compare to your regular beats. The iPhone app could do with being a little less cluttered, but if you’re particularly interested in the relationship between your heart rate and sleep, this is a great little app. We’ve found accuracy on it to be pretty good, too.
£2.99, Download HeartWatch
6. Sleep Watch
Another on-watch app for tracking bedtime slumber, Sleep Watch automatically keeps tabs on the time, heart rate and stages of your sleep. It looks for “dips” in your heart rate that the makers suggest correlate with more restful sleep, and will give you a score based on the quality of your kip. You’ll also get daily briefings and sleep trends over time, making it a powerful app for Apple Watch users, with even more advanced tracking options like heart rate variabilitiy mointored if you take out a premium subscription.
Free, Download Sleep Watch
7. Sleep Pulse 3
Sleep Pulse 3 is a fully-featured sleep app for your Apple Watch that does most of the work itself. It’ll track your heart rate and motion, and there’s a sleep view you can take a look at when you randomly wake up in the middle of the night – this’ll show you your resting heart rate, as well as how long you’ve been sleeping.
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There are also ways to track naps and record sleep talk. Best of all, all the sleep analysis is done right there on the Watch, not on your phone.
It’s also been updated to better work with the Apple Watch Series 4 too, and should get support for the Series 5 as well – so it’s better optimised for those bigger screens and pairs with Apple’s Infograph and Infograph Modular watches faces letting you see recent sleep data from your watch face.
£3.99, Download Sleep Pulse 3
8. Sleep Tracker by Sleepmatic
If Sleep Tracker looks familiar, it’s because it does. It looks almost exactly like Fitbit’s sleep interface, and the app – by Sleepmatic – is unashamed about it all. It sells itself as Fitbit sleep tracking for Apple Watch, though there are some differences. You’re not going to get REM sleep here, but you will get automatic sleep tracking for both overnight sleep and daytime naps. Plus, you can see how much sleep you got last night in a handy complication.
£1.99, Download Sleep Tracker