The Apple Watch is now into its fourth iteration, yet one of the most common questions we get asked is 'Does the Apple Watch track sleep?'. Sadly, the smartwatch still doesn't offer any of its own sleep tracking tech, despite offering plenty of other advanced features.
However, just because Apple doesn't let you track sleep officially, it doesn't mean that you're left completely in the dark. There's now a bunch of third-party apps that can make up for the smartwatch's biggest shortcoming.
The ones we've rounded up down below are, in our opinion, the best of what's out there right now. None of them are truly amazing, and if sleep is what you want to track, smartwatches like the Fitbit Versa and Samsung Galaxy Watch do a better job.
But if you're an Apple Watch owner looking to monitor your sleep, these are a good place to start for when you need to track your bed time.
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 it, but it's also good when it comes to accuracy. When put up against 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 heart rate to follow your patterns, and presents the data in gorgeous, easy-to-read charts. Again, though, you have to manually start and stop your sleeps, which may help with accuracy, but it's something you can easily forget to do.
Free, Download Pillow
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 it does do, however, is track and recommend daytime naps. 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.
Also read: Apple Watch tips and tricks
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 has recently launched the Sleep Monitor 3.5 - perhaps signalling that 2019 will be the year the company begins 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
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.
Free, Download Sleep Watch
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. 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.
$3.99, Download Sleep Pulse 3
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 a 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