Apple’s unsolved problem: Sleep tracking and Apple Watch

“A common Apple Watch question people ask me is when will Apple add built-in sleep tracking capabilities,” Zac Hall writes for 9to5Mac. “My answer is always ‘soon I hope,’ and watchOS 4 seems like the next opportunity to introduce it. But there are already third-party apps that let you try it now. The problem for me is finding the right time to recharge my Apple Watch when I wear it overnight.”

“My normal Apple Watch routine usually consists of waking up between 5 and 7 am and putting it on immediately for all-day fitness tracking, at least a 30-minute workout at some point every day, and dropping it on the charger just before bed around 9 and 11 pm,” Hall writes. “Apple Watch Series 2 running the latest watchOS version usually gets me to around 50% battery life by the end of the day.”

Hall writes, “Ideally, I could routinely recharge while showering as I don’t typically wear Apple Watch in the shower. I’d need to go from whatever percent to 100% in about 30 minutes for this to work, however, and the numbers just aren’t there yet.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The answer, short of truly wireless charging, is much faster charging capability as shower time would be the perfect time to recharge for those wishing to use their Apple Watches all day and all night.


  1. Although I love my Apple Watch, the lack of sleep tracking is a glaring problem. To me it seems like Apple could simply include a separate sleep tracking band to wear at night. It wouldn’t need to be that robust or have hardly any of the features of the watch……those kinds of trackers cost less than $50 bucks retail. It could even be a deluxe version and they could charge a bit more for it, but to not have this feature in undoubtedly costing them some sales and will cost them loyalty when someone else solves the riddle. I know that is not very elegant, but it would fill a big hole.

  2. You know what, I think it would be cool to add a sleep feature to the device. It would help me keep track of my habits so I could do my morning walks on the Brooklyn Bridge at just the right time. 7 a.m. I also love how it helps me keep track of my daily jogs in Central Park, and combined with my Starbucks app can help me find the quickest way to that cafe. Apple and urban living: A match made in heaven.

  3. Sleep tracking is the one feature of her Fitbit that my wife likes most. Meanwhile, the Apple watch on my own wrist just shrugs and says, “Maybe someday.”

  4. The latest research shows that people who use sleep trackers sleep LESS when using sleep trackers due to the obsession to check their sleep trackers during the night. It’s a unintuitive unintended side effect of using sleep trackers.

    Apple may be better off not including one.

    Perhaps all Apple needs to do is find a way to monitor the sleeping sounds from a nearby person and use the regular breathing of a sleeper. There is a difference. Do it remotely. But refer to my first paragraph.

    1. I use a sleep tracking app on my watch. Works quite well. I usually charge my watch after getting up. Hard to get a full charge in that time but usually enough.
      Never had the urge to check my sleep during the night. Rather defeats the purpose.

    2. I use a series 1 and a nice sleep app. I charge watch in an hour while I shower or get supper
      And it runs all night fine with a 95% charge next am.

      I also have a backup charger at work just in case of last minute business trip.
      I really have no charge problems. But I do run a minimal wrist screen and not a lot of power apps.

  5. I sleep with my Series 1, wake and swap S1 with my Series 2 and I’m on my way. At bedtime I swap the S2 for the S1. I get all my sleep data and always have a charged Apple Watch. Boom!

  6. I recently found Autosleep. It’s very good. All I have to do is wear the watch. It’s able to figure out on its own when I’m sleeping. I expected some false positives, but it’s been spot on.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree that Autosleep and HeartWatch are the best sleep/heart combo out there. Autosleep just works. Configure the times you typically sleep and wake and forget about it. You get a very good record of your sleep, deep sleep, restlessness, heart rate and waking time. The graph in the Autosleep app on the iPhone is very good but the data also gets to HeartWatch. You can wear it to bed and the app doesn’t drain additional power.

      As far as battery life is concerned, I wear my watch constantly – even at night. If the watch is at 100% at bedtime, when I wake it’s around 80-85% (I also turn off sound and put it in “Do not disturb” mode at bedtime). When I wake I put it on the charger for 20-30 minutes while I eat and it’s good to go. I’ll put it on the charger around dinner time later to top off the battery.

      1. Yes, I bought the heart watch app after using autosleep for a couple of days. Really useful together. I’m already starting to see some correlations between my daytime activities and the quality of my sleep and especially the resting pulse during the night. It’s early days, but if they prove out it should be fairly easy to make small adjustments to my days that have a positive impact on my sleep.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.