Major Apple Watch study reveals we're not getting enough sleep

Only 31% get their seven hours a night
Wareable Apple Watch sleep data
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

A major study that uses data from Apple Watch users has revealed that few of us are getting our recommended 7 hours of sleep a night.

The study, run by Brigham and Women’s Hospital using opt-in data from Apple Watch users, studied 42,000 people.

It studied 2.9 million recorded nights of sleep and found that just 31.2% of people were getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night.

In fact, 29% of people got fewer than 5 hours of sleep. The average sleep duration was 6 hours and 27 minutes.

Getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night is linked to a host of negative health outcomes – and between 7 and 9 hours is recommended by the American Heart Association.

The data is part of the Apple Heart and Movement Study, which is powering a host of large-scale medical studies. It won’t be completed until 2024, but we’ve seen plenty of early findings.

And it’s not hyperbole to say that studying data from wearables in this way is revolutionizing medical studies.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital has already used data from the study to track older people's mobility and exercise levels.

And we’ve recently reported on other studies using Apple Watch data, including how the ECG sensor is used to track pediatric cancer care and even the effects of fighting wildfires on first responders.

And of course, the Apple Watch is a much-improved sleep tracker, thanks to new features.

Newly-added sleep stage data, and excellent bedtime consistency focus make it a decent sleep tracker in its own right.

Read our guide to Apple Watch sleep tracking, and the best third-party Apple Watch sleep apps to see if you can get your seven hours a night.

How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

Related stories