How to read Apple Watch sleep data and view on your iPhone

(Pocket-lint) – When Apple first released the Apple Watch in 2015, it didn’t offer sleep tracking. It wasn’t until 2020 with the launch of watchOS 7 that the functionality appeared, although it was in a simpler form than competitors like Fitbit and Garmin.

However, with the arrival of watchOS 9, the Apple Watch finally offers sleep tracking that’s a bit richer. There are now sleep stages with a breakdown of wake time, REM time, core sleep time, and deep sleep time.

To track your sleep with the Apple Watch, you need to put your device into Sleep Focus. It’s then a little tricky to find the data once it’s collected, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.


How to read and find your Apple Watch sleep data.

How to view Apple Watch sleep data on iPhone

You can read and view sleep data from your Apple Watch either on the watch itself or on your iPhone. For the latter, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Health app on your iPhone
  2. Tap the Browse tab at the bottom right
  3. Scroll down to Sleep
  4. Tap D, W, M, or 6M to view your sleep data by day, week, month, or 6 months
  5. Below the sleep graph, tap “See more sleep data” to see the time in each stage

How to check sleep data on your Apple Watch

It’s possible to view your sleep data on your Apple Watch, but you won’t be able to see as much detail as you can with your iPhone. You can only view the data from the previous night and not, for example, a whole week or a whole month.

Follow these instructions to read your sleep data on Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Sleep app on your Apple Watch
  2. Scroll down to Analysis
  3. You will see a chart as well as the time in sleep and the time in the sleep stages
  4. Scroll down to see a bar chart for the last 14 days with a line showing average sleep time

How accurate is Apple Watch sleep data?

In our testing, we found that the Apple Watch Series 8’s sleep data is pretty much what we’d expect in terms of sleep and wake times.

Of course, pinpointing the accuracy of the stages is difficult, although it is known that you dream during REM sleep, and we found that the data presented appeared to correlate with what we experienced when waking up from a dream would be.

We have a whole feature on sleep tracking and what the data means. In short, your body ebbs and flows in four phases during a night: awake, light, deep, and REM.

Your body needs a combination of all of these phases to recover, rebuild, and wake up feeling rested. Light is said to enhance memory and learning, depth aids in physical recovery, and REM is said to aid in strategic thinking and creativity.

If you want to know more about sleep tracking and what it means, you can go to our separate feature.

Which Apple Watch models offer sleep tracking?

All Apple Watch Series 3 and later models offer basic sleep tracking, but you’ll need an Apple Watch Series 4 or later to take advantage of enhanced sleep tracking on Apple Watch, since you have watchOS 9 and the Watch Series 3 is not compatible with watchOS 9.

For sleep tracking with sleep stages you need one of these models:

  • Apple watch series 4
  • Apple watch series 5
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple watch series 7
  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Apple Watch SE (2020)
  • Apple Watch SE (2022)
  • Apple Watch Ultra

Writing from Britta O’Boyle.

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