We spend most of our time sleeping but how much sleep do we actually have?
I use a Fitbit Blaze to track sleep and an Apple Watch during the day. Why? Because the Apple Watch doesn’t track sleep. It’s amazing that such an expensive watch doesn’t do something even a basic sports tracker can do. Since the Apple Watch came out I wanted it to track sleep. An update was released a few weeks ago but no automatic sleep tracking.
Two apps has been released in the past few weeks which aim to solve this problem. The first one is Sleep Tracker: Auto Sleep Cycle Watch Monitor.
It installs an app on the watch and unlike other sleep apps, detects motion along with your heart rate. You don’t have to do anything except sleep. Once you wake up an alert pops up on your watch. It’s best to add the app to the dock and it you open the app you are presented with the information gathered from the sleep.
When it was first released it was quite buggy. I have been using it for a few weeks now and reported any bug to the developer (who communicates really well). It’s on ver 1.6 now and most bugs have been resolved and the app works virtually flawlessly. Sleep data is stored in the cloud so if the app is removed and reinstalled, sleep data comes back. The phone app is quite basic but shows how long you have been in bed and how long you have slept while in bed, along with the average heart rate.
The second is Autosleep.
No apps are installed on the watch (great for battery life) and all the data required is pulled from Apple Health. You don’t need to do anything except wear the watch. If you forget to wear the watch, it will use the iPhone to calculate when you slept. It’s quite clever and I was really impressed when I tested it.
The sleep is presented in a clock view and shows your heart rate, movement, phone movement and when you charged the phone.
Scroll down and recharge show how much of your sleep target was met. Mine was set to 8hrs and I managed 90% of my target.
Scroll down again and you are presented with sleep quality. This only appears if an Apple Watch is worn. I wore my series 0 to bed and it shows my movement (restlessness) along with any time I nipped to the toilet (awake). Average heart rate is displayed at the bottom.
Overall I was impressed with both Sleep Tracker and Autosleep. Both apps automatically track sleep and both are priced at £1.49 (UK store). Until Apple adds automatic sleep tracking either of these would be worth adding to your app collection.
How do both of these compare to Fitbit?
I wore my Fitbit Blaze last night along with my Apple Watch. All the screenshots in this review were from my sleep last night and each apps results are below:
Actual Sleep times:
- Hours asleep: 8hr 24min (<7hrs counting my awake times)
- Asleep at: 22:30 to 22:40 (approx)
- Awake at: 06:54 (I checked my watch when I got up)
- Woke up to visit the toilet a couple of times and I remember taking 20-30 mins to sleep one.
- Hours asleep: 8hr 9min
- Asleep at: 21:51
- Awake at: 06:56
- Average heart rate: 65
Sleep Tracker: Auto Sleep Cycle Watch Monitor
- Hours asleep: 8hr 15min
- Asleep at: 22:32
- Awake at: 06:47
- Average heart rate: 65
- Hours asleep: 7hr 10min
- Asleep at: 22:46
- Awake at: 06:42
- Average heart rate: 66
How accurate were they?
Fitbit – As soon as I lay in bed, the Fitbit thought I was sleeping. It detected the times I went to the toilet and the awake time was nearly correct. Time sleep was nearly correct and heart rate was accurate.
Sleep Tracker: Auto Sleep Cycle Watch Monitor – It detected me laying in bed without sleep. It didn’t show anytime I was awake (maybe adjustable sensitivity may help?). Heart rate was the same as Fitbit.
Autosleep: Again, detected I was in bed and not sleeping. It was also the most accurate with my awake times and although it showed I was asleep for 7hr 10min, this can be tweaked by adjusting sensitivity. Once adjusted to how you like it, the sleeps for the past 7 days is adjusted accordingly. Pretty neat 🙂
Battery life is a concern for the Apple Watch. Or so I thought. I charged it to 100% last night and when I woke up (after sleep tracking with both apps) I had 93% left. So I could easily use the Watch all day, track my sleep again then wear it again before charging. Pretty good.
Note: Series 0 Apple Watch. Before sleep I enabled airplane mode and disabled wake screen. Both enabled once I had woken up.
I think it’s finally time to say bye bye to Fitbit. It’s been around for a while now and they should have the best algorithm but as soon as I lay down it thought I was sleeping. Both the apps show real potential and show just how good the Apple Watch sensors are. At £1.49 each I would recommended either of them with Autosleep just in front due to the awake times and slightly better interface.
What do you think? Was this review ok? Let me know via the comments! 🙂