Sleep-tracking could come to Apple Watch this year

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Apple Watch Series 4
Apple Watch is getting another health-conscious feature.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple will introduce sleep tracking to Apple Watch, a new report claims.

The new software-based feature reportedly will not require any additional hardware. However, it remains unclear whether Apple will limit sleep tracking to the upcoming Apple Watch Series 5.

As Apple delves deeper into adding health and wellness features for its products, sleep tracking seems like an obvious choice. The National Institutes of Health calls getting plenty of high-quality sleep essential to your physical and mental wellbeing.

And Apple Watch seems like a great device for monitoring sleep. 9to5Mac, which broke the story about the upcoming sleep-tracking feature, said it learned of the project from sources within Apple. Execs could announce the feature next week when Apple introduces the iPhone 11 and other new devices for the holiday season.

Inside Apple, the feature reportedly goes by the code name “Burrito.” More formally, Apple will call it “Time in Bed tracking.” While users sleep, the Apple Watch will track their shut-eye by monitoring movement, heart rate, noises and potentially other metrics. This data can be analyzed using the Health app and a new Sleep app. Plus, Apple supposedly will roll out a new watch complication for sleep tracking.

One of the challenges Apple faces with the new sleep-tracking feature is the Apple Watch’s limited battery life. Hopefully, in the future Apple will solve this by finding a way to extend the device’s battery. But this year it appears Cupertino will settle for reminding users to charge their watches in the evening ahead of bedtime.

Apple’s sleep-tracking interests

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Apple’s growing interest in sleep tracking. Apple’s Health app for iOS has included sleep tracking since 2014. However, it simply pulls in information from the Clock app’s alarm function. (Third-party devices and apps can bolster the data.)

Apple acquired Finnish company Beddit, which makes a sleep-tracking sensor strip, in May 2017. At the end of last year, a new Beddit sleep monitor launched. This was the first new version since Apple acquired the company.

This latest report backs up a story from earlier this year that suggested Apple will introduce sleep tracking to Apple Watch in 2020. This latest report suggests the new feature could arrive sooner than that.