Apple is researching piezo sensors for sleep monitoring

Apple Watch is a great fitness tracker that, with the right app, can even track your sleep patterns so it's a bit unusual that Apple doesn't offer its own sleep-tracking functionality in the watchOS software. But as indicated by a new patent application published yesterday, it looks like the Cupertino company could be researching sleep monitoring hardware of its own.

How to track your sleep using AutoSleep

You don’t have to be a scientist to know that a good night’s sleep is conducive to your overall wellbeing and health. On that note, a while ago we have screened the App Store for the best sleep trackers available on iPhone and Apple Watch so as to make it easy for you to pick and choose your new sleep companion.

While varying in looks and features, all of the apps listed serve the same purpose: record how you slept and explain possible discrepancies in perceived quality of sleep and your actual rest. With the hands-off roundup in mind, we decided to select the most requested and popular app featured - AutoSleep - and throw a complementary hands-on tutorial on sleep tracking into the mix. Want to learn more about how to track your sleep using your iPhone, Apple Watch, and the AutoSleep app? Then join us for the tour!

Sleep expert who helped create Night Shift and Bedtime departs Apple

Sleep researcher Roy J.E.M Raymann has departed Apple for the startup SleepScore Labs. MobileHealthNews has learned that Raymann will serve as the company's Vice President of Sleep Science and Scientific Affairs.

Raymann's LinkedIn profile states he helped develop the Night Shift and Bedtime features in iOS and Apple's HealthKit and ResearchKit frameworks.

Prior to joining Apple, Raymann led sleep research at Philips where he wrote papers on mild skin warming as a non-pharmacological method of altering sleep quality and alertness.

His industry experience encompasses areas like specialized wearable devices, dedicated sleep-tracking sensors and non-pharmacological methods of improving sleep quality.

When Apple hired him back in 2014, observes speculated that Apple Watch would include built-in functions to let users track how well they slept at night. The wearable gadget debuted without any sleep-tracking features, but App Store offers a bunch of specialized sleep-tracking apps, like Sleep++ [review], HeartWatch, AutoSleep and others.

A joint venture between renowned surgeon and television host Dr. Oz, medical devices vendor ResMed and private equity firm Pegasus Capital Advisors, SleepScore Labs is a new San Diego-based company focused on helping people understand and improve their sleep.

From the company's About page:

SleepScore Labs is currently in the process of examining how people sleep by compiling and analyzing the most comprehensive and accurate collection of consumer sleep data on the planet.

SleepScore Labs will use this data to deliver ultra-personalized insights, coaching, and validated solutions that enable you to make informed decisions about the behavioral and environmental factors that affect your sleep. Our goal is to help you get the best sleep of your life.

Raymann's departure comes hot on the heels of Apple's acquisition of Beddit, a sleep-tracking app available free on App Store. Beddit's dedicated sleep-tracking accessory can be purchased via Apple Online Store for $150.

The best sleep tracking apps for Apple Watch and iPhone

Tracking your sleep routine can often lead to insights into all sorts of habits or quirks detrimental to a good night’s sleep. Before Apple Watch, apps promising to analyze your nightly resting patterns and devise remedies to improve on them were already plentiful. Yet after the release of the wrist-worn gadget, a new surge in the category ensued for its ease of use on watch and enhanced precision in measuring body movements at night.

In order to single out the creme de la creme of applications, we have put through their paces both standalone sleep trackers on iPhone and an array of apps requiring the assistance of Apple Watch.

No matter if you rock iPhone and Apple Watch together or solo, find out below which sleep trackers are worthwhile your time and money.

Bloomberg: Apple Watch to gain new sleep tracking and fitness apps & more

In an effort to advance its HealthKit framework, Apple has reportedly been developing a pair of new apps for the Apple Watch.

One will help users track and analyze their sleep and the other will their track fitness levels by measuring the time taken for the heart rate to fall from its peak to resting level, Bloomberg reports.

The company has hired “scores of healthcare experts” to develop improved electronic health record software and help turn the Apple Watch into a tool that diagnoses disease.

Review: boost your sleep analysis with much improved Sleep++ 2.0

David Smith’s excellent Sleep++ app is my killer app when it comes to sleep analysis, a glaring omission from the Apple Watch. It's become second nature for me to open Sleep++ as I tuck myself in bed for the evening.

This native watchOS 2 app collects data from watch sensors to measure sleep quality and duration, which can then be reviewed in greater detail in a companion iPhone app and synced with your Health database.

The updated Sleep++ 2.0, now available as a free download in the App Store, takes sleep analysis to the next level with major improvements to its sleep analysis engine and new features such as better Health integration, an improved Night Detail view, night trimming and timezone support.

‘Sense’ takes sleep tracking to a whole new level

Technology has really pushed its way into our lives these past few years, moving beyond smartphones to fitness, and even sleep-tracking accessories. FitBit's Flex, Jawbone's UP and several other wearables are able to record and analyze your sleep patterns.

But the new 'Sense,' from Hello promises to do much more than that. In addition to tracking your sleep behavior, that glowing ball you see in the photo above has the ability to monitor things like noise and temperature, and can even play ambient sounds...