(Pocket-lint) – When Apple first released the Apple Watch in 2015, sleep tracking wasn’t offered. It wasn’t until 2020 with the arrival of watchOS 7 that the functionality appeared, though it was in a more basic form than competitors like Fitbit and Garmin.
With the arrival of watchOS 9 though, the Apple Watch finally offers sleep tracking that’s a little more substantial. There are sleep stages now, with a breakdown of time awake, time in REM, time in core sleep and time in deep sleep.
In order to track your sleep with Apple Watch, you need to put your device into the Sleep Focus. It’s then a little tricky to find the data once it is gathered, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s how to read and find your Apple Watch sleep data.
How to view Apple Watch sleep data on iPhone
You can read and view sleep data from your Apple Watch on either the Watch itself, or on your iPhone. For the latter, follow the steps below:
- Open the Health app on your iPhone
- Tap on the Browse tab in the bottom right
- Scroll down to Sleep
- Tap on D, W, M or 6M to show your sleep data for day, week, month or 6 months
- Tap on ‘Show More Sleep Data’ under the sleep graph to show time in each stage
How to check sleep data on your Apple Watch
It’s possible to view your sleep data on your Apple Watch but you won’t be able to see as much detail as you can with your iPhone. You will only be able to view the previous night’s data rather than an entire week or month for example.
To read your sleep data on Apple Watch, follow these instructions:
- Open the Sleep app on your Apple Watch
- Scroll down to Analysis
- You’ll see a graph, as well as Time Asleep and time in sleep stages
- Scroll to the bottom to see a bar chart of the last 14 days with a line showing the average time asleep
How accurate is Apple Watch sleep data?
In our testing, we’ve found the Apple Watch Series 8 sleep data to be pretty much what we would expect in terms of time asleep and times when we woke up.
Naturally, it’s difficult to determine the accuracy of the stages, though REM sleep is known to be when you are dreaming and we did find that the data presented appeared to correlate with what we had experienced if we had woken up following a dream.
We’ve got an entire feature on sleep tracking and what the data means. In a nutshell, your body dips in and out of four stages throughout a night: Awake, light, deep and REM.
Your body needs a combination of all these stages to recover, rebuild and leave you feeling rested when you wake up. Light is said to strengthen memory and learning, while deep helps with physical recovery and REM is said to help with strategic thinking and creativity.
If you want to read more about sleep tracking and what it means, you can head to our separate feature.
What Apple Watch models offer sleep tracking?
All Apple Watch models from the Series 3 and later offer basic sleep tracking but you’ll need an Apple Watch Series 4 or later to take advantages of the more advanced sleep tracking on Apple Watch as you’ll need watchOS 9 and the Watch Series 3 isn’t compatible with watchOS 9.
For sleep tracking with sleep stages, you’ll need one of these models:
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch Series 8
- Apple Watch SE (2020)
- Apple Watch SE (2022)
- Apple Watch Ultra
Writing by Britta O’Boyle.