can i sleep with my apple watch on

Can I Sleep with my Apple Watch on?

Can you sleep with your apple watch on? On the one hand, it’s comfortable to wear and it can track sleep. On the other hand, your apple watch emits electromagnetic radiation that could affect your sleep. As a sleep-blogger and electrical engineer, I just had to answer this question for you.

When you love your apple watch so much, that you just don’t want to take it off before going to bed, here’s the article that answers your questions.

So, can I sleep with my apple watch on? Yes, you can sleep with your apple watch on as long as you use a band suited for sleeping and you don’t place too much pressure on your watch. Sleeping with your apple watch on, however, could harm your battery life permanently.

This answer is just a very short outline of everything discovered in this article. Let’s take a look at the advantages and the disadvantages of sleeping with your apple watch on.

Advantages of sleeping with your apple watch on

Sleep comfort – In contrast to regular watches, apple watches come in a smooth, curvy shape that makes them comfortable to sleep with. Whenever I sleep with a regular watch, I wake up with wrinkles and even scratches from the sharp edges of my watch. That’s why I always take it off before sleep. With apple watches, this problem doesn’t affect you.

Also, the band of an apple watch is suited for sleep. It will not get uncomfortable, because it is smooth and flexible rubber material. In case you have another material, be cautious. Rubber is usually the best choice for wearing your watch while sleeping.

Sleep tracking apps – On top of having a smooth finish and design, there are tons of sleep tracking apps you can use to improve your sleep quality. They are specially designed for apple watches. You can, for example, track sleep apnea and sleep quality with a simple app you just need to start before you go to bed. Even though these apps don’t replace any real medical review, they can give you a first hint on how well you sleep. 

Personally, I think these apps are surprisingly accurate and they are fun to use when you are someone who cares for sleep quality (which I believe is the case, otherwise you wouldn’t read this article).

Vibration alarm – In case you have problems waking up in the morning, sleeping with an apple watch on is a game-changer. I’ve even recommended it in the article What to do if you can’t hear your alarm clock in the morning?

When you can’t wake up in the morning, the vibration alarm of an apple watch can help you wake up. Because by using it you use two wake-up triggers: Sound and Touch. You can even increase the haptic feedback of your apple watch and make the vibration stronger.

Disadvantages and Dangers

Even though the advantages of sleeping with an apple watch on seem great, there are also some downsides to it. Here’s why sleeping with an apple watch on can harm your sleep quality.

Only good for back sleepers – You should only sleep with an apple watch when you are a back sleeper. As a back sleeper, your wrists are mostly free to move. Therefore, there will be no pressure on the watch. As a side sleeper or belly sleeper, you use your arms to support your weight. An apple watch (just like any other watch) will press into your wrist, which can cause your wrist to be sore when you wake up.

Display light interrupts your sleep – The bright display of your apple watch can disrupt your sleep quality. When you look at a display at night, your brain stops melatonin production, because it confuses the display for daylight. Therefore, each time you check your apple watch during the night, your sleep quality degrades. Sleeping with an apple watch on harms your sleep quality if you are tempted to check your watch during the night.

Apple watch might overheat – Electronics are sensitive to temperature. Did you ever get a popup notification when you played a game on your smartphone and it overheated?

When you wear your watch in bed, it is more likely to overheat and get damaged. Electronic devices, especially microelectronics as in your apple watch should stay cool at all times. If you keep your apple watch on for sleep, it could become unusually hot because it can’t cool down when it’s buried under your blanket together with your body temperature.

Overheating causes your apple watch battery life to decrease permanently. In extreme cases, your apple watch can even break.

Electromagnetic radiation – As an electrical engineer and sleep-blogger, I can tell you that the radiation of an apple watch does not affect your sleep and is not dangerous. I’ve even confirmed this with a high-voltage electricity professor from a technical university.

However, you might feel uncomfortable with being exposed to unnecessary radiation and prefer to shut off devices at night.

How long does an apple watch battery last?

When you sleep with your apple watch on, the battery life of your apple watch decreases. Normally, an apple watch lasts 16-18 hours. When you sleep with your apple watch on, you can expect to be recharging it the next morning.

Even if you completely charged your watch before bed, you would need to recharge it the following morning so you can use it the whole day. Especially, when you have sleep tracking apps running, you can expect a higher battery usage. Most likely you will wake up with around 30% capacity.

If you want to keep your apple watch battery capacity high, I recommend not to sleep with an apple watch on. If, however, you want to track your sleep during the night, you should plan to recharge it in the morning.

Does the apple watch display disturb my sleep?

Whether your apple watch disturbs your sleep, depends mostly on you. I’ve found that you should not sleep with an apple watch on if one of the following conditions applies:

  1. You are not a back sleeper
  2. You like to check notifications at night
  3. You think wearing a watch for sleep is uncomfortable
  4. You want to preserve battery life
  5. You don’t use your apple watch while you sleep (sleep trackers)

If any of these points apply to you, you can be sure, that sleeping with your apple watch on will disturb your sleep quality. The watch will be uncomfortable for you to sleep with and notifications will unnecessarily interrupt your sleep.

I recommend only to sleep with your apple watch on if you use it for sleep tracking or the vibration-based alarm.

Which apple watch band is best suited for sleep?

Your watch band has a huge impact on how well you can sleep with your watch on. Therefore, when you plan to use your apple watch for sleep, you should use a nice and well-suited band.

In general, I recommend using the standard band that comes with every apple watch. It is a smooth rubber material. On one hand, it is comfortable for sleeping, on the other hand, rubber is the most flexible material. It relieves any pressure on your watch and reduces the risk of breaking your apple watch.

If you are currently using another band, just switch over to a rubber band before you go to bed.

Can you lose your apple watch at night?

Generally, apple watch bands are safe to use. As long as you are using the standard band for sleeping, you are fine. But I’ve found some bands use cheap pin-through closing mechanisms where you just poke a metal tip through a hole.

I once had such a cheap pin-through band and I’ve lost my watch nearly every night! That’s not a problem when you are at home, but imagine you fall asleep on a train or on a plane. You’ll never see your watch again.

On top of that, when your band loosens during sleep, your sleep tracking apps stop working properly and are more error-prone.

Make sure to use a firm, difficult-to-open band (preferably rubber material) if you want to use your apple watch for sleeping.

Is it safe? – The Outline

In general, you can sleep with your apple watch on. However, it comes with a few dangers. You could accidentally break your watch if you sleep in a bad position and you wear a firm apple watch band that doesn’t relieve pressure. Also, your battery life drains much faster. And your sleep will be disrupted by notifications.

On the other side, your apple watch can be a great sleep tracking aid. Every day you wake up, you receive insightful information about your sleep quality. I think that’s great. And additionally, you can use it as a vibration-based alarm if you have difficulties waking up in the morning.

If you think your sleep needs improvement, definitely take a look at our other guides here! They are packed with simple and helpful information on how to fight insomnia and finally wake up refreshed.

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