The main purpose for this is using the watch as my alarm clock. The buzzing on the wrist is considerably more pleasant than the sound of typical alarm clocks.
I occasionally look at the AutoSleep data. I don’t really follow it thought, and I think it is typically flawed. The app tells me I get considerably less sleep than I think I do, so I’m not sure if it is picking up room noise, something else, or I don’t sleep as soundly as I think I do. I don’t have any problems staying awake or anything, so it isn’t super important to my day.
I bought an Oura ring for that purpose and the tracking has been great. I gained a lot of insights about which choices (food, food timing, exercise, exercise intensity, exercise timing, sleep environment, sleep patterns, sauna use, meditation) influence which sleep parameter. My sleep is nowhere near perfect, but I’m working on it and see a lot of progress.
As someone, who exercises often and does sports on a competitive level, the HRV measurements are also great. I have the app HRV4Training read the data from Oura to have my recovery rating almost immediately in the morning, so I can adapt my training load for the day accordingly.
I also like AutoSleep to correlate additional parameters, such as environment noise, if I found myself having a night of really bad sleep.
In addition I use Sleepcycle to be woken up gently in a 20 min. window by my Hue lights with increasing brightness. The sleep tracking is somewhat inaccurate, compared to the tracking of the Oura ring and AutoSleep.
The app Heart Analyzer is not necessarily a sleep app, but it shows the average heart rate at night in a nice monthly graph. Also I enjoy checking out their monthly PDF reports and storing them on my Mac for easy reference and comparisons.
Another tool that people often forget about is the sleep cycle analysis graphs in the Apple Health app. Especially the month view is valuable. You can see larger sleep trends, like a shift to later bed times or variations in length on a larger scale over years with ease, if you have been wearing the Apple Watch consistently.
I can easily spot phases of high stress and see where my training load was too high and/or my general stress level, due to things that kept me awake in my private or work life.
I used Sleep ++ for a time and found the results interesting. But the novelty wore off after a while because I didn’t find the data useful.
“While sleep trackers can collect a lot of information about your slumber habits, there’s one important thing they generally don’t do, says Alan Schwartz, M.D., director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center: “They don’t measure sleep directly,” he says.
Instead, they often measure inactivity as a surrogate for estimating sleep, he explains. “Most sleep tracking devices make some guesstimate as to how much you’re actually sleeping.””
I use AutoSleep and so far I’ve used Pillow and Sleep++ in the past. Although it needs some adjustments most of the time which I think due to having a partner who moves around when she’s sleeping and we have 6 dogs that rotates around “who gets a spot” in the bed with us at night.
I use Sleep Cycle, and additional the Apple Watch.
While you could never compare the results of a system like that, with the results from a professional sleeping lab, I get from both results that are credible.
I’m still happy with AutoSleep. I love that I don’t have to interact with it. I’m sure the data isn’t perfect but because I always use it in the same way, it can tell me how one day compares to another and it shows useful trends.