Yes, the Apple Watch Can Be Used to Monitor Sleep

All the big tech sites have published their reviews of the Apple Watch and I am still seeing some of these reviews complain that the Apple Watch can't be used to track your sleep because of lack of battery. This is simply not true.

I think the reason that people are saying you can't wear the Apple Watch to bed at night to track your sleep is becasue they are assuming you must charge your Apple Watch all night in order to get through the next day without running out of battery. But the Apple Watch is not an iPhone or an iPad. The battery is much much smaller. You don't have to charge the Apple Watch all night long (or even a significant portion of the night) like you do an iPhone or an iPad in order to go from near zero battery level to full. On the Apple website they explain that it takes about 90 minutes to charge the watch from 0% to 80% and 2 1/2 hours to go from completely empty to completely full (these numers are based on the 38 mm Apple Watch). However, the reviewers so far have actully been getting about a day and a half out of the Apple Watch battery. That means that every day and half you are going to need to spend a total of 2 1/2 charging your Apple Watch (or a little more than 1.5 hours a day). Let's just round it up to 2 hours of charge time needed per day. After all, if you are going to use the watch to monitor your sleep it is going to take some additional battery power.

So if you need to charge your Apple Watch about 2 hours a day and you would like to wear it night while you sleep, how can you make this work? Below are several opportunities for you to charge your Apple Watch:

  1. Take your Apple Watch off as soon as you wake up in the morning and charge it while you are getting ready for work (30-60 minutes)
  2. If you are like me and eat lunch at your desk most day, take it off and charge it during lunch (you are in front of your computer and you have your iPhone on your desk next to you, do you really need to be wearing your Apple Watch while you eat?) (30 minutes)
  3. Charge your Apple Watch why you reading in bed (or watching TV) before you go to sleep. I'm generally reading on my iPad so I'm already getting notifications. (30-60 minutes)
  4. I get a few periods at work every day in between meetings where I get to catch up on work at my desk. I will also use this time (if needed) to charge up my Apple Watch.
  5. I tend to shower at night, so I will be charging my Apple Watch while I am getting cleaned up at night (I know Tim Cook said he showered with his watch, but I don't plan on showering with mine)

The first 3 potential opportunities to charge your Apple Watch throughout the day that I listed above will give me between 1 1/2 hours and 2 1/2 hours which should be enough to keep my Apple Watch from ever completely going empty during a 24 hour period. But that doesn't take into account my daily shower time and time between meetings at work. Bottom line, I will have plenty of convienent times during the day to charge my Apple Watch so I can wear it all night to monitor my sleep.

The Apple Watch is not an iPhone or an iPad, so don't assume that charging it all night every night is the best solution. Honestly, I think having an Apple Watch with 2-3 times the current battery capacity would be a mistake. If you don't have to get on a charging routine with it then you risk forgetting every other day or two to charge it and end up with a dead watch. I am finding this with my iPhone 6 Plus. I can go 2 or more days between charges but I charge it every night so it has battery when I need it. Do the same thing with your Apple Watch. Get in a charging routine that works well with your normal routine and stick with it.

Do the math and think outside the iPhone and iPad box and I think you will find that the Apple Watch will work quite well as a sleep monitor for those that want to use it for that purpose. If you do sleep with your Apple Watch, I suggest wearing it on your other wrist at night. Wearing something metal against your skin nearly 24/7 isn't good. Give the skin on your wrist a chance to breathe a little at night.

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