Apple announced this week that its latest version of the Apple Watch operating system will include sleep tracking features. According to the Apple press release, watchOS 7 will track sleep timing and duration through “the detection of micro-movements from the watch’s accelerometer, which signals respiration during sleep.” The watch also includes a new feature to help users develop good sleep habits and get enough sleep.

Getting to sleep

A new tool called Wind Down will allow Apple Watch wearers to build a customized, pre-bedtime routine to help them relax before bed and go to bed on time. Users can listen to soothing sounds or use a meditation app to help them prepare for sleep. An alarm can signal when it’s time to get ready for bed to help ensure the desired amount of sleep. To minimize disturbances during the night, the device’s sleep mode turns on “do not disturb” and darkens the screen.

Waking up

The watch will help users wake up with gentle sounds or a vibrating alarm. Once awake, wearers will be able to view data about their night’s sleep, including total time in bed and time asleep, periods of wake and sleep, and a chart of their weekly sleep trend.


AASM members can learn more about sleep tracking devices and apps on the AASM #SleepTechnology webpage. The AASM Consumer and Clinical Technology Committee developed the directory to identify the capabilities and limitations of these emerging technologies.

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