How to Set Up Sleep Tracking on Your iPhone and Apple Watch

Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Featured

Thanks to iOS 14 and watchOS 7, sleep tracking is finally available on select Apple Watch models and iPhones. This new functionality allows you to track and analyze your sleep patterns and establish healthier habits overall. As such, this is a highly useful feature helping you change your everyday life for the better.

Apple has done an excellent job creating an all-encompassing sleep tracking ability, which comes with specific features that no third-party watchOS app offers. We help you discover those and show you how to set up sleep tracking on your iPhone and Apple Watch. Let’s jump right in!

On What Devices Can You Use Sleep Tracking? 

Remember that your Apple Watch needs to be on watchOS 7, while your iPhone must run iOS 14. This feature is integrated into those versions of watchOS and iOS, so using the latest available version is the only way to access sleep tracking.

We would also like to note that watchOS 7 is available on an Apple Watch Series 3 and later and also requires an iPhone 6s running iOS 14. Therefore, this feature should work on devices released in 2015 and later.

Set Up Sleep Tracking on Your iPhone and Apple Watch

Sleep tracking in iOS 14 works best when you pair your smartphone with an Apple Watch. However, to start this process, you need to turn to the Health app on your iPhone.

1. Launch the Health app and make sure to tap on the “Browse” tab (bottom-right corner). Scroll down and tap on “Sleep.” Again, scroll down a bit and tap on “Get Started” (found within the “Set Up Sleep” card). 

Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Initial Step

2. Your iPhone will now show you a quick overview of how sleep tracking works. Feel free to tap on “Next” to proceed to the first step. This is where you’ll need to set up your sleep goal. By tapping on the plus and minus icons, set the desired time interval. Tap “Next.”

Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Setting Sleep Goal

3. This is where you can set up your first schedule. Start by selecting (or deselecting) days that you’ll include in your schedule. For example, if you have the same schedule from Monday through Friday, make sure to select those days only. Later on, you can create a weekend schedule, for example. 

4. Depending on the sleep goal you’ve previously chosen, your iPhone will show you a recommended bedtime and wake-up time. Feel free to adjust this time interval by dragging either the bed or alarm icon. Lastly, tap “Add” once you’re happy with your schedule.

Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Setting Bedtime Schedule

5. You are now free to tap “Next” to continue or add another schedule by tapping on “Add a Schedule for Other Days.”

6. At this moment, you’ll see a prompt to enable the recently introduced “Sleep Mode.” This mode allows you to eliminate notifications or other distractions, letting you relax and begin your bedtime routine. You’re free to choose whether you’d like to use this mode or whether you don’t want to make any modifications. To proceed, tap on “Enable Sleep Mode.” If you’d like to skip this feature, tap on “Skip.”

Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Setting Wind Down Mode

7. If you’ve chosen to set up your own “Sleep Mode,” you’ll see prompts to edit a “Wind Down” time which enables the “Do Not Disturb” mode. You’ll need to set the duration of this interval, which will begin before your previously set bedtime interval. Use the plus and minus icons, then tap on “Enable Wind Down.” Of course, you can skip this step by tapping on “Skip.”

8. You can decide whether you’d like to access particular functions of your iPhone while the “Sleep Mode” is active (done via “Wind Down Shortcuts”). You can enable this feature by tapping on “Set Up Shortcuts -> Add a Shortcut,” then choosing any shortcut(s) you see on your screen. Tap Next once you’re done.

Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Setting Wind Down Shortcuts

9. At this moment, you’ll see a message saying that you can use your Apple Watch to track your sleep. Therefore, to get the most precise results, make sure to charge your Apple Watch on time and wear it while sleeping. To enable this option, tap on “Enable.” There’s no need to adjust anything else, as your Apple Watch will now start to track your sleep automatically.

10. Finally, review your schedule and make sure everything is set correctly. You can always go back to the previous steps if there’s something you want to adjust. To finalize this procedure, tap on “Done.” 

This is where we end our guide on how to set up sleep tracking on your iPhone and Apple Watch. To get the most out of your smartwatch, check our overview of the best tips on using your Apple Watch. You’ll also want to check out how to unpair and restore your Apple Watch, which will come in handy in case of any problems in the future.

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Isaac Norman Isaac Norman

Isaac is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience covering the latest technological innovations. Mainly focused on Apple-related software and hardware systems, his aspiration is to explore all the ways today's digital world intertwines with our everyday life.

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