Apple Watch study reveals how much sleep we’re really getting

a photo of the sleep tracking on the Apple Watch Ultra
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch provides a font of wellness data, from fitness information to giving you an electrocardiogram reading, But it’s also a solid sleep tracker, that is if you actually get enough sleep.

As it happens, that’s not the case for a lot of Apple Watch wearers. Apple Heart and Movement Study, which looks into the early warning signs for atrial fibrillation (AFib) in association with Brigham and Women's Hospital and the American Heart Association, released an update noting how the data it has shows a heck of a lot of Apple Watch wearers need more sleep. 

Apple Heart and Movement Study sleep data

(Image credit: Apple)

The data showed that from the 42,455 participants that shared at least 10 nights worth of sleep data sucked up by the Apple Watch, the average amount of time asleep per individual was 6 hours and 27 minutes. That’s not enough.

Only 31.2% of participants got more than 7 hours of sleep, which is the mininumum recommended amount. A little more than 29% of participants got less than five hours of sleep. That’s really not enough.

Why does sleep matter? 

man waking up and rubbing his eyes

(Image credit: Getty)

Getting the recommended amount of sleep will help ensure you’re more alert and less tired throughout the day. But sleep also has direct implications on your health. 

“Sleep has become a top area of interest in both health research and the wellness space for good reason,” explained the Apple Heart and Movement Study team. “The duration and consistency of sleep have been linked to a wide range of health topics including cardiovascular disease, metabolism, and brain health, not to mention quality of life.” 

Speaking as someone who definitely doesn't get enough sleep (maybe 5 to 6 hours on a weeknight), I can attest that a lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on both one’s physical and mental health. I have put on weight, can be a little more irritable and listless, and find that I need to spend chunks of my weekend trying to catch up on sleep. 

If you’re in the same poor sleep pattern, then Tom’s Guide is here to help as it’s Sleep Week. And we have lots of tips to help you improve your sleep. So check out our Sleep Week 2023 hub, as well as how drinking coffee before you take a nap is actually smart

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Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.