Best Sleep Tracker Apple Watch App

nikster0029

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 21, 2010
579
213
Hey guys! I was wondering what recommendations anyone has in sleep tracking applications for the Apple Watch. I have an excellent one that works on my iPhone when I put it on my bedside. Now with the Apple Watch, I am hoping to just have the watch on at night on my wrist, and have THAT be my sleep tracker with an application that uses its motion activity (to not kill battery life by having the app on the watch always be on). That way, when I am in the least stage of sleep, the watch can wake me up in the morning, just like the iPhone app.

Sorry if thats confusing. Hopefully people get what i mean.
 
I've been using both Sleep++ and Sleep Pulse. Those are the only native apps that I'm aware of. The best comparison between the 2 is Sleep++ is more Apple-like while sleep pulse is more android-like. Let me explain.

Sleep++: It's great in it's simplicity. The app is simple to stop/start sleep. The complication (they both have one) has the nice touch of continuously displaying how long you've been asleep. Then it displays a simple bar showing how long you've been sleeping and tells you how restless your sleep was as a percentage. I've found the "restless" statistic to be virtually worthless. The main utility from that app is being able to capture sleep length and at a glance scroll through your sleep history comparing length and time of sleep. I've had no issues/bugs of note. Also, free (IAP to remove ads).

Sleep Plus: Extremely feature rich, but also not the prettiest. The UI is overblown on my 6+ and looks like it was designed for the iPhone 5. That being said, it shows you time awake, light sleep and deep sleep. It records your HR and shows it in a graph and gives you your avg, min, max HR. It gives you all sorts of bar charts showing your avg sleep data over the past week, 30 days, for each individual day of the week, etc. However, it's much more likely to have lag/glitches. The way some stuff is displayed is a little wonky. But overall this app is great if you want to dig more into the specifics of your sleep. Costs a couple bucks or so. Also, it should be stated that after you wakeup it sends a notification to your phone to review your sleep report. You will need to open the app on your iphone and click "display report" to download from your watch, otherwise I don't think it will record it. I haven't really tested not doing it.

Also, FWIW I've emailed both devs with a list of feature requests. Sleep++ gave a pretty generic "thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into it" and Sleep Plus sent a long email responding to each individual request stating how some things can't be done due to the limits Apple has placed on them, asking questions, and saying they will look into certain things. He also stated that he's committed to releasing feature/stabililty updates to the app every other week.
 

cabrown

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2008
126
36
I've been using both Sleep++ and Sleep Pulse. Those are the only native apps that I'm aware of. The best comparison between the 2 is Sleep++ is more Apple-like while sleep pulse is more android-like. Let me explain.

Sleep++: It's great in it's simplicity. The app is simple to stop/start sleep. The complication (they both have one) has the nice touch of continuously displaying how long you've been asleep. Then it displays a simple bar showing how long you've been sleeping and tells you how restless your sleep was as a percentage. I've found the "restless" statistic to be virtually worthless. The main utility from that app is being able to capture sleep length and at a glance scroll through your sleep history comparing length and time of sleep. I've had no issues/bugs of note. Also, free (IAP to remove ads).

Sleep Plus: Extremely feature rich, but also not the prettiest. The UI is overblown on my 6+ and looks like it was designed for the iPhone 5. That being said, it shows you time awake, light sleep and deep sleep. It records your HR and shows it in a graph and gives you your avg, min, max HR. It gives you all sorts of bar charts showing your avg sleep data over the past week, 30 days, for each individual day of the week, etc. However, it's much more likely to have lag/glitches. The way some stuff is displayed is a little wonky. But overall this app is great if you want to dig more into the specifics of your sleep. Costs a couple bucks or so. Also, it should be stated that after you wakeup it sends a notification to your phone to review your sleep report. You will need to open the app on your iphone and click "display report" to download from your watch, otherwise I don't think it will record it. I haven't really tested not doing it.

Also, FWIW I've emailed both devs with a list of feature requests. Sleep++ gave a pretty generic "thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into it" and Sleep Plus sent a long email responding to each individual request stating how some things can't be done due to the limits Apple has placed on them, asking questions, and saying they will look into certain things. He also stated that he's committed to releasing feature/stabililty updates to the app every other week.
This post actually helps me as well ;). Oh my the Android comment hurt a little part of me though — I understand it isn't the prettiest app out there, design is new to me — believe me I want it too look better not satisfied.

Also of note — if you get a notification saying "view sleep report" you actually don't need to view it each morning to sync. The notification means it has synced successfully to the iPhone.
 

jimfastcar1

macrumors member
Oct 30, 2015
45
3
Oakville, Ontario Canada
I tried this last night for the first time. Putting the AW in Airplane mode only consumed around 8% of battery and was quick to charge to full while I got ready in morning
The data report is of small value,mint showed I slept 7 hr and 14 min, and was restless for 21 minutes
Perhaps I am not reading the report correctly, but the chart on the phone does not seem to react to the search for more data
Perhaps future updates will prove more useful
 
This post actually helps me as well ;). Oh my the Android comment hurt a little part of me though — I understand it isn't the prettiest app out there, design is new to me — believe me I want it too look better not satisfied.

Also of note — if you get a notification saying "view sleep report" you actually don't need to view it each morning to sync. The notification means it has synced successfully to the iPhone.
Haha, well I hope that little part of you is doing better :p It's a great app, there are just a lot of little niggles I have with it. It's contrasting idealogies of going extremely basic and slowly building out features vs pushing out a bunch of features and then refining it. Honestly, I'd always rather have more raw data that can later be utilized as necessary.

So you're saying if I don't open the iPhone app for a week, I won't have any syncing issues? Then what's the reason for the "view report" display on the iphone app that I need to click? In my 1 week scenario would I have 7 "view reports" that I would need to go through and click to view/open but other than that no issues? Also, does the watch sync better if worn, on the charger, or no sig difference? Just curious because I always place it on the charger as soon as I wake up.

As a suggestion, one thing I like about sleep++ is how easy it is to scroll through my week to at a glance see length as well as sleep/wake times. I do believe you have a bar chart view for sleep length over the past week/30 days, but I prefer the other implementation. Gives the view better granularity with the longer bars, plus I can more easily see if the reason for a long/short sleep is because of bedtime or wake time

Oh, also, one thing I would like to see is ability to tag certain events to a sleep such as sleeping with a partner, drinking alcohol, late exercise, late meal, etc to see how they effect sleep. On that note, it'd be good to be able to compare sleep quality of a tag to other tags/no tags.

Also, I'm not sure what "sleep goal" buys you. If on the watch it says my sleep quality is 91% it's not immediately intuitive that means I slept for 91% of my goal. (unless I'm misinterpreting that metric) I'd much rather just see sleep length (and reserve sleep quality for some sort of algorithm that can actually analyze my sleep... quality). And then put sleep length on the complication a la sleep++

Sorry for the long post, but I tend to overthink things and hopefully this will give you some good ideas :)
 
Last edited:

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,073
5,173
Sleep++: It's great in it's simplicity. The app is simple to stop/start sleep.
It could be simpler, though. The start/stop command is in the middle of a wall of text, and since I take off my eyeglasses when I go to bed, I can't see where to tap to start/stop sleep, and once I tap, I have a hard time telling if the watch is in sleep mode or not. I've sometimes woken up to find that the watch didn't track my sleep because I hadn't managed to tap the right spot, or maybe I stopped the tracking wen I meant to start it.
 

cabrown

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2008
126
36
Haha, well I hope that little part of you is doing better :p It's a great app, there are just a lot of little niggles I have with it. It's contrasting idealogies of going extremely basic and slowly building out features vs pushing out a bunch of features and then refining it. Honestly, I'd always rather have more raw data that can later be utilized as necessary.

So you're saying if I don't open the iPhone app for a week, I won't have any syncing issues? Then what's the reason for the "view report" display on the iphone app that I need to click? In my 1 week scenario would I have 7 "view reports" that I would need to go through and click to view/open but other than that no issues? Also, does the watch sync better if worn, on the charger, or no sig difference? Just curious because I always place it on the charger as soon as I wake up.

As a suggestion, one thing I like about sleep++ is how easy it is to scroll through my week to at a glance see length as well as sleep/wake times. I do believe you have a bar chart view for sleep length over the past week/30 days, but I prefer the other implementation. Gives the view better granularity with the longer bars, plus I can more easily see if the reason for a long/short sleep is because of bedtime or wake time

Oh, also, one thing I would like to see is ability to tag certain events to a sleep such as sleeping with a partner, drinking alcohol, late exercise, late meal, etc to see how they effect sleep. On that note, it'd be good to be able to compare sleep quality of a tag to other tags/no tags.

Also, I'm not sure what "sleep goal" buys you. If on the watch it says my sleep quality is 91% it's not immediately intuitive that means I slept for 91% of my goal. (unless I'm misinterpreting that metric) I'd much rather just see sleep length (and reserve sleep quality for some sort of algorithm that can actually analyze my sleep... quality). And then put sleep length on the complication a la sleep++

Sorry for the long post, but I tend to overthink things and hopefully this will give you some good ideas :)
Oh I yes, I do agree some features coulda of been refined more. A lot of annoying bugs will be fixed in the next update — though what happen was it all worked when Sleep Pulse was solely heart rate — incorporating motion was something entirely new.

Yes if you didn't open it for a week and bypassed those "view sleep report" messages you could go in later and view them. Now the reason why I say if the notification appears is because the notification also means that the data has synced to the watch. Sometimes I won't get the "view sleep report" message when I awake — and it seems there is a problem with the WatchConnectivity Framework that allows the devices to communicate as many others have reported on Apple Developer Forum's. If you don't get the message than the data did not sync and you will need to tap "Sync Again" from the watch.

The best way for the watch to sync is with the iPhone app open on the sleep view — whether its worn or not I have not documented as being better. Though I know when developing the watch installs apps and communicates better when on the charger.

Yes so currently I use bar charts for 7 and 30 nights. I will definitely make note of it — like you there is a lot of information provided in my app and most of it is because of user feedback. I would like to add what you are describing, though I do worry the app becomes too messy.

Tags is something that will be coming — a few users have requested this along with tracking emotions. This is on the roadmap!

Definitely great ideas — I just gotta think how to implement them all in a clean way!:D
 
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