the candler blog

Sleeping With My Apple Watch

Apple Watch, Technology

I liked reading about how Stephen Hackett uses his Apple Watch at night. Here’s how I use mine.

Some time before I go to bed I put my Apple Watch on the charger next to my bed. I only do this if I’ve filled all my Activity rings. How long before I go to bed do I charge my watch? I just sort of decide, “Well, the day’s over” and I take it off.

The goal is to get it charged enough so I can track my sleep with David Smith’s excellent Sleep++ and have enough juice to go on a run the following morning. Ideally when I go to bed it will be at 100%, but anything above 50% charge will do.

Okay so I pass out on the couch watching Colbert and amble into the bedroom after brushing my teeth. I plug in my phone and put my Apple Watch back on, placing it in Airplane Mode as Smith suggests. If I haven’t already, I change the watch face to this customized Modular face:

Midnight Blue with complications for Sleep++ and Alarm. The blue is the most muted color to my eye. I wish Apple offered up the shade of green they use for “Nightstand Mode,” but I work with what they give me.

The complications serve dual purposes. They make it quick and easy to get to the only apps I need before sleep envelops me and they also give me info I kinda like having access to should I wake up in the middle of the night. I tap the alarm complication and set my alarm. One press of the digital crown and I’m back on the watch face.1 Whatever time my alarm is set for appears under the clock icon on the watch face.

From there I tap the Sleep++ complication. When the app loads I click “Start Sleeping” and go back to the watch face. In the morning, Sleep++ will “analyze” my sleep and tell me how restless I was throughout the night. During the evening, it will display how much time has elapsed since I started sleeping. This is novel and sometimes even useful, as in when I doze off and think it must be 3:00 am but it’s only been 8 minutes. Do I need that info? Not really. But it’s pretty neat.

My Apple Watch taps my wrist to wake me up, which my girlfriend appreciates. I still wake her up when I trudge out of bed like an elephant, but at least the bedroom doesn’t sound like a diving submarine come sunrise anymore.

I’ll usually lose about 8% charge from a night’s sleep. When I wake up, I’ll keep my watch on to get a standing hour (or two, if I time it right) or go for a run with it. Once it’s clear I’m heading into the shower, I’ll put it back on the charger to reload from the night before. It’ll usually make it all the way to 100% when I leave for work.

I honestly don’t know if sleep tracking is a crock or not. I don’t really care, either. Strange as it may seem, I prefer charging my watch twice a day to charging it once overnight. The effect is that the watch feels like it’s always charged.

And that’s how I sleep with my watch.

  1. I don’t hear people mention it much, but this one touch return to watch face is one of my favorite features of watchOS 2. Navigation just makes so much more sense now.

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