Sleep tracking on Apple Watch
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

Sleep tracking is natively available on all Apple Watches Series 3 and newer. It’s an automatic feature that tracks data when you go to bed while wearing the smartwatch, but you do have to set it up. Here’s how to configure sleep tracking on your Apple Watch.

Although you can set up sleep tracking on your Apple Watch, it’s much easier to do on your iPhone. First, make sure your iPhone is running iOS 14 or higher, and your Apple Watch is running watchOS 7 or higher. If not, the sleep tracking settings won’t be available.

To get started, tap and open the “Health” app on your iPhone. You can swipe down on the Home screen, and then use Spotlight Search to find it if necessary.

Tap the "Health" app on your iPhone.

Next, tap the “Browse” tab, and then tap “Sleep.”

Tap "Browse," and then tap "Sleep."

You can now schedule your bedtime routine. Having a set schedule helps your Apple Watch start monitoring for sleep activity. It also sets an automatic alarm to wake you in the morning.

Tap “Full Schedule & Options.”

Tap "Full Schedule & Options."

In the “Full Schedule” section, tap “Set Your First Schedule.”

Tap "Set Your First Schedule."

Choose which days of the week you want to use this schedule. Then, set your “Bedtime” and “Wake Up” times.

Tap the days of the week you want to use this schedule, and then set your "Bedtime" and "Wake Up" times.

If you want to fine-tune your alarm, you can do so at the bottom. When you’re finished, tap “Add” at the top right.

Adjust the "Alarm Options," and then tap "Add."

You can add as many schedules as you want—just tap “Add Schedule for Other Days” to set more. Most people have one schedule for weekdays, and another for weekends.

When you’re done customizing your schedules, scroll down and set the “Sleep Goal,” “Wind Down,” and “Wind Down Shortcuts” settings. To proceed, tap “Options.”

Tap "Options" when you're done adjusting the settings in the "Additional Details" section.

You can then enable any settings you want in the “Sleep Mode” menu. You’ll likely want to toggle-On both the “Turn On Automatically” and “Track Time in Bed with iPhone” options.

After you do this, “Do Not Disturb” will turn on automatically whenever your iPhone is in Sleep Mode. This will mute all incoming notifications when you’re supposed to be sleeping.

The "Sleep Mode" menu.

Finally, scroll down and tap “Manage Sleep in the Apple Watch App.”

Tap "Manage Sleep in the Apple Watch App."

Enable all the settings you want. Again, you’ll want to toggle-On the “Turn On Automatically” and “Track Sleep with Apple Watch” options.

This will enable “Do Not Disturb” on your Watch and prevent the screen from lighting up while you’re asleep.

The "Sleep Mode" menu on Apple Watch.

That’s it! You’ve now enabled sleep tracking on your Apple Watch. Head to bed, and your wearable will take care of everything else.

When you wake up, you can check the average amounts of time you were asleep and in bed in the iPhone “Health” app.

The "Sleep" averages in the "Health" app.

Unfortunately, the Apple Watch won’t be as accurate as a dedicated sleep-tracking device. However, you can get a rough idea of how well and how much you sleep—just don’t rely on this data if you have a serious medical condition.

RELATED: 20 Apple Watch Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

Profile Photo for Justin Duino Justin Duino
Justin Duino is the Reviews Director at How-To Geek (and LifeSavvy Media as a whole). He has spent the last decade writing about Android, smartphones, and other mobile technology. In addition to his written work, he has also been a regular guest commentator on CBS News and BBC World News and Radio to discuss current events in the technology industry.
Read Full Bio »