How to track sleep stages with your Apple Watch

Updated for watchOS 9, which introduced sleep stages.

Empirical Sleep for Apple Watch builds on the Apple Watch's sleep tracking feature (introduced in watchOS 7) and sleep stages (introduced in watchOS 9). For most people, sleep tracking will be enabled automatically when you set up your watch, but if sleep data is missing, here's how to turn it on.

You'll need to check your settings in the Watch app, for Sleep Focus, and in the Health app.

Check that you've upgraded to watchOS 9

  1. On your iPhone, open the Watch app.
  2. On the My Watch tab, tap on the "General" category, then tap on "About".
  3. Check the "Version" field. The version should be 9.0, or above -- for example, 9.2, 9.4, etc.
  4. If you are using a previous version of watchOS, go to "General," then "Software Update," and follow the onscreen instructions to update your watch.

Turn on Sleep Tracking in the Watch app

  1. On your iPhone, open the Watch app.
  2. On the My Watch tab, find the "Sleep" category and tap on it.
  3. Scroll down and ensure that the toggle for "Track Sleep with Apple Watch" is enabled. It should look like the screenshot below.

Turn on a sleep schedule in the Health app

  1. Still within the Watch app above, tap on "Manage Sleep Focus in Settings." This will take you to Sleep Focus settings.
  2. Scroll down to "Schedule", and tap on it. This will take you to the Health app.
  3. Turn on the "Schedule" toggle is enabled (see screenshot below).
  4. Tap "Add Schedule" to create a sleep schedule (a time when you expect to go to bed and wake up each day).
  5. Note: you can also turn the sleep focus on and off manually each night directly on your watch. But we recommend setting a schedule so that sleep is tracked automatically.

Further Resources

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