The Apple Watch has proven time and again to be a tremendously valuable tool for measuring key metrics of our health, including sleep. In this field it is able to detect sleep patterns, sleep duration and sleep quality. And subsequently, with this data in hand, we can better understand our sleep habits and, if necessary, improve them.
Sleep tracking may seem like just another metric, but the truth is that it can provide important information about overall health, as the quality and quantity of sleep is directly related to health and can indicate irregularities, such as obesity, diabetes and even heart disease. To better understand all this is precisely the aim of the study that has been carried out with data from the Apple Watch and that reveals something (that we all already knew) about our sleep habits.
Five more minutes, please
Data generated by the Apple Watch for the Apple Heart and Motion Study in cooperation with Brigham and Women’s Hospital indicate that most people do not get enough sleep at night. The study was started in 2019 to initially look for early signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib) in conjunction with the American Heart Association. However, an updated version of the data focusing on sleep shows that we should be getting more sleep.
Data collected by the Apple Watch from people who have chosen to participate in the study reveal that the average time spent sleeping is 6 hours and 27 minutes. Only 31.2% of people manage to sleep seven or more hours, which meets the minimum recommended by the American Heart Association. Most participants sleep between six and seven hours, with 39.7% of them achieving that figure. Another 20.3% sleep between five and six hours a night, and 8.8% sleep less than five hours.
It is well known that sleep is an important area for health and well-being. The duration and consistency of this rest is related to several health issues, according to Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The catch here is that, until now, conducting studies of this type has been tremendously complicated. Not only that, but the reliability of the data was very different. We have already seen, to give just one example, how the GPS accuracy of the Apple Watch Ultra exceeded all expectations or how it saved the lives of its owner and a friend.
In this sense, what the Apple Watch can do in terms of collecting accurate data to feed scientific research is truly amazing. Gathering more than 42,000 people, as reported by Apple Insider, to organize a study of these characteristics is now a much simpler task and, of course, totally respectful of the privacy of the participants who can see what data they provide at all times and decide whether to continue. A great advantage that, as the study aims, sooner rather than later may yield conclusions that have a positive impact on our rest and day to day.