Apple plans to add sleep tracking capabilities to the Apple Watch. Despite its many health monitoring features, including a built-in ECG function, the Apple Watch requires daily charging. With most users charging the wearable overnight, this prevents the device from being worn to analyze sleep patterns. Competing wearables such as Fitbit, Garmin and Withings boast multi-day battery life, allowing these devices to be worn overnight.
Sources tell Bloomberg that sleep tracking software is already being tested by Apple in California, with plans for Apple Watch integration by 2020. For its part, Apple has not commented on the report.
It's not clear whether sleep analysis would be limited to specific Apple Watch hardware, or if older models would receive some sleep-related health features along with a watchOS update. It's possible the 2020 Apple Watch would have a significantly longer battery life, or maybe the sleep monitoring function would operate in a special low power mode overnight. Either way, Apple Watch users may have to change their routine and charge in the morning.
Apple Health already includes sleep analysis, however external sleep monitoring devices are required to collect data. Otherwise the app can pull information from the iPhone alarm clock's Bedtime feature, which helps iOS users monitor their own sleep schedule and goals. Apple also acquired Beddit in 2017 and sells the Beddit Sleep Monitor for $149.95 on the Apple Store.Apple Watch fans may have to wait until 2020 for sleep tracking, but Apple has been known to rigorously test new health monitoring features before public release. Apple may not be the first to implement sleep analysis on its wearables, but when the feature arrives it's sure to be accurate and complement other Apple Health metrics for customers.