Can Apple Watch track sleep like Fitbit

How to monitor your sleep with Apple Watch and watchOS 7

Halyna Kubiv

From watchOS 7, automatic sleep monitoring is possible with the Apple Watch. This works a little differently than the rest.

EnlargeYou can use the Apple Watch to analyze your sleep.
© Shutterstock / Andrey Popov

On the market for five years, the Apple Watch had a significant disadvantage compared to its (sometimes cheaper) competition: The Apple Smartwatch could not monitor and evaluate the user's sleep. As of watchOS 7, this omission has been ironed out.

Anyone who has already tried sleep monitoring with Fitbit or a third-party app on the Apple Watch will still be surprised. Apple has presented its own concept of what sleep monitoring should look like. The user is not confronted with the different sleep phases, as is the case with the usual sleep apps, the health app only shows how much time the user has spent in bed and how much of it he has slept. According to Apple, the individual sleep phases at night are not as important for quality as the duration, and the duration is what counts for the evaluations and well-being.

In addition to sleep monitoring, Apple's watchOS 7 takes all aspects into account so that the user can prepare for sleep.

The Setting sleep monitoring works quite quickly on the Apple Watch or on the iPhone:

Similar to iOS 13, you have to enter your desired bedtime. This is done in the Health app in the "Sleep" area.

EnlargeSleep monitoring is set up in just eight steps.

On the next screen, the user can set his bedtime preferences. We have set a utopian goal of eight hours here. Then you can set when bedtime starts and when it ends. Here you can adjust the automatic alarm clock. These times are not only decisive for the user, but also for the devices: The iPhone is switched to so-called sleep mode. The lock screen is reduced to the bare minimum and "Do not disturb" is activated.

EnlargeIn addition to bedtime, the user can set up the entire evening routine to prepare for sleep.

In addition to the sleep mode and alarm clock, the system defines "relaxation", which is better described with the term "night's rest": The user can set a time before actually going to bed, during which he can adjust to sleep. The iPhone can adjust the lighting in the house, play suitable music, start a meditation app or open the current book in the books app. This all works via Siri shortcuts, you can build a whole ritual like this.
There is an additional setting on the Apple Watch. You can be reminded to charge the Apple Watch an hour before bed if the battery level falls below 30 percent.

EnlargeApple Watch can still remember that it was recharged.

Conclusion: In the home office reality, even without a battery life of 24 hours, sleep monitoring works surprisingly well: I only forgot to put the watch on before going to sleep, or was so tired after hiking that I didn't want to get out of bed . The only thing is that with "relaxation" you have to get used to the fact that you have to slowly close all Twitter feeds and YouTube videos and read a book for a change: Fortunately, the books app is not known for striking animations, there are even classics free and after a few minutes of reading you will sleep better than after the excitement because someone is wrong again on the internet.