Can Apple Watch 3 Track Sleep

by Barbara Wilson

The Apple Watch Series 3, while an older model in Apple’s smartwatch lineup, still boasts a variety of features that make it a versatile companion for daily activities. One of the questions many users and potential buyers ask is whether the Apple Watch Series 3 can track sleep. This comprehensive article will delve into the specifics of sleep tracking capabilities on the Apple Watch Series 3, how to set it up, alternative methods, and comparisons with other sleep tracking devices.


Understanding Sleep Tracking

What is Sleep Tracking?

Sleep tracking involves monitoring various aspects of your sleep patterns, such as duration, quality, and different sleep stages (light, deep, and REM sleep). It helps users gain insights into their sleep habits and make informed decisions to improve their overall health and well-being.


Importance of Sleep Tracking

Sleep is a crucial component of overall health, affecting physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Accurate sleep tracking can help identify issues such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or irregular sleep patterns, and provide data to improve sleep hygiene.


Apple Watch Series 3: Overview

Key Features of Apple Watch Series 3

The Apple Watch Series 3 includes features such as fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring, GPS, water resistance, and notifications. It runs on watchOS, which allows for a variety of apps and functionalities.


Hardware and Software Capabilities

The Series 3 is equipped with sensors like the accelerometer and gyroscope, which can potentially be used for tracking sleep. However, the native capabilities for sleep tracking were limited when the device was first released.

Native Sleep Tracking on Apple Watch Series 3

Evolution of Sleep Tracking on watchOS

Sleep tracking was introduced as a native feature in watchOS 7, which brought the functionality to Apple Watches, including Series 3. This update allows users to utilize the built-in Sleep app for basic sleep tracking.

Setting Up Sleep Tracking

  • Update watchOS: Ensure your Apple Watch Series 3 is running watchOS 7 or later. You can update through the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Set Up in Health App: Open the Health app on your iPhone, tap on “Browse,” then “Sleep.” Tap “Get Started” and follow the instructions to set up your sleep schedule.
  • Enable Sleep Tracking: In the Apple Watch app, go to “My Watch,” tap “Sleep,” and enable “Track Sleep with Apple Watch.”
  • Wear Your Watch to Bed: Make sure your Apple Watch is sufficiently charged and wear it to bed to start tracking your sleep.

Data Provided by Native Sleep Tracking

The native Sleep app provides basic metrics, including:

  • Sleep duration
  • Sleep schedule consistency
  • Sleep goal achievement
  • Wake-up and bedtime reminders

Third-Party Sleep Tracking Apps

Popular Third-Party Apps

Several third-party apps offer more advanced sleep tracking features for the Apple Watch Series 3. Some popular options include:

  • AutoSleep: Provides detailed analysis, sleep stages, and readiness scores.
  • Pillow: Tracks sleep quality, heart rate, and offers sleep sounds.
  • SleepWatch: Monitors sleep patterns, sleep rhythm, and heart rate.

How to Use Third-Party Apps

  • Download the App: Find the desired sleep tracking app on the App Store and download it.
  • Set Up the App: Follow the in-app instructions to set up sleep tracking. This may involve granting permissions to access health data and notifications.
  • Wear Your Watch to Bed: Similar to native tracking, ensure your watch is charged and wear it to bed.

Comparing Apple Watch Series 3 with Other Sleep Trackers


Fitbit devices are renowned for their sleep tracking capabilities. They offer detailed insights, including sleep stages and sleep score. Comparatively, Apple Watch Series 3 provides more integration with iOS devices but lacks some of the in-depth sleep analysis offered by Fitbit.


Garmin wearables also provide extensive sleep tracking features, including sleep stages, stress levels, and body battery. Garmin devices are often preferred by athletes and fitness enthusiasts who require more detailed health metrics.

Oura Ring

The Oura Ring focuses on sleep and recovery, offering detailed sleep analysis, readiness scores, and comprehensive health tracking. Its form factor is different from traditional wearables, providing a unique option for users focused primarily on sleep health.

See Also: How Can I Find My Phone From My Apple Watch

Improving Sleep Quality with Apple Watch Series 3

Tips for Better Sleep

  • Consistent Sleep Schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Create a Sleep-Conducive Environment: Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.
  • Limit Screen Time Before Bed: Reduce exposure to screens at least an hour before bedtime to improve sleep quality.
  • Stay Active: Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep.

Using Apple Watch for Better Sleep

  • Wind Down: Use the Wind Down feature to establish a pre-bedtime routine.
  • Sleep Goals: Set and track sleep goals to ensure you are getting enough rest.
  • Sleep Mode: Enable Sleep Mode to reduce distractions from notifications and dim the display.

Challenges and Limitations

Battery Life

One of the main challenges of using the Apple Watch Series 3 for sleep tracking is battery life. Users need to ensure the watch is sufficiently charged before bed and may need to find time during the day to charge the device.

Data Accuracy

While the Apple Watch Series 3 can provide useful sleep data, it may not be as accurate as dedicated sleep trackers like the Oura Ring or advanced models from Fitbit and Garmin.

User Experience

The user experience for sleep tracking on the Apple Watch Series 3 can vary. Some users may find the native Sleep app sufficient, while others may prefer the additional features and insights offered by third-party apps.

Future of Sleep Tracking on Apple Watch

Upcoming watchOS Updates

Apple continually improves watchOS with each update. Future versions may include enhanced sleep tracking features, such as more detailed sleep stage analysis and improved integration with health and wellness apps.

Advancements in Wearable Technology

As wearable technology advances, future iterations of the Apple Watch may include better sensors and algorithms for more accurate and comprehensive sleep tracking.

User Feedback and Development

User feedback plays a crucial role in the development of new features. Apple and third-party app developers are likely to continue refining sleep tracking capabilities based on user experiences and demands.


The Apple Watch Series 3, while not originally designed with advanced sleep tracking in mind, has evolved to offer basic sleep tracking features through watchOS updates and third-party apps. By utilizing these tools, users can gain valuable insights into their sleep patterns and work towards improving their overall sleep quality. As technology continues to advance, we can expect further enhancements in sleep tracking capabilities on wearable devices like the Apple Watch.


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