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(Pocket-lint) - Sleep tracking is still missing off the Apple Watch's plethora of features and one that has long been rumoured - especially after Apple acquired Beddit in 2017.

Previously, it wasn't expected until 2020 but a recent report suggests sleep tracking is finally making its way onto Apple's smartwatch and that it might not require any special hardware to work - i.e, you may not need the latest device expected to launch on 10 September, possibly just the software - watchOS 6.

According to sources talking to 9to5Mac, Apple is working on sleep tracking for the Apple Watch, allowing users to wear it to bed and the feature is said to be called Time-in-Bed tracking. 

The report from 9to5Mac says the Apple Watch will monitor the quality of sleep by using the sensors within the Apple Watch to track the user's movement, heart rate and noise, delivering the data into the Apple Health app, as well as a new Sleep app for the Watch.

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Users will apparently be reminded to charge their Apple Watch before bedtime to ensure the battery gets through the night and if they get up before their alarm is due to go off - it will automatically be turned off. There will also be the option of a silent alarm and when a user wears their Apple Watch to bed, Do Not Disturb mode will be enabled automatically to make sure sleep isn't disrupted.

At the moment, it is not clear if only the Apple Watch Series 5 will offer the new sleep tracking feature but as the rumours predict that there will be minor changes to the smartwatch for this year's model, it is expected that new hardware will not be necessary and that it will be a software feature update instead - meaning other models like the Series 4 should be able to take advantage when it arrives, hopefully on watchOS 6.

You can read all about what else is expected for the Apple Watch Series 5 in our rumour round up feature.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.