Sleep is vital for maintaining one’s health. After all, rest is when your body rejuvenates itself after a long day. On average, we spend around a third of our lives hibernating. Being able to track our sleep can be invaluable because we can use the data to help tweak our sleeping habits and improve our quality of sleep.
How to choose the best sleep trackers
Most sleep monitors use actigraphy, which essentially measures your movement. The idea is that change corresponds to being awake, and periods of non-movement are interpreted as being asleep.The latter is a downfall of actigraphy in sleep trackers – they tend to mistaken lying still as being asleep.
The new generation of sleep trackers monitors not only your movement but also your heart and breathing rate, making it more accurate.
- Wearables or non-wearables
Non-wearables are placed under your mattress or on your bedside table. The sensor interprets the readings,and you’ll get the sleep data in a smartphone app or the company’s website.
If you have an active lifestyle, wearables would be a better choice.
Best Sleep Trackers
It is no wonder that this branch of industry is on the rise– this is only supported by the fact that even Amazon and Apple are involved in it. Luckily, there are many options to choose from, based on your needs. We’ve narrowed down the best players in sleep tracking technology.
Best Smartwatch — Fitbit Versa
Fitbit Versa is another smartwatch that company Fitbit Inc. presented in the last two years. Although this version is promoted as best suited for women, it does not mean that men cannot be satisfied with it.
The thing that will first catch your attention is the price. Fitbit Versa is cheaper than smartwatches that have the same characteristics.
It comes in different sizes:
- Small: fits wrists at 140mm; 180 mm in circumference
- Large: fits wrists at 180mm; 220 in circumference
- Width: 34.0 mm diagonal
- Screen size: 24.075mm x 24.075mm
It is also available in different colors:
- Black, Peach, Grey
- Special Edition:
- Charcoal woven/Graphite Aluminum
- Lavender woven/Rose-Gold Aluminum
Unlike its predecessor Ionic, it does not have a built-in GPS. Therefore, you will need to carry your smartphone to use GPS. Fitbit Versa aims to help women’s health since you can track your period and compare it with other health stats. Furthermore, it functions great as a sleep monitor. It allows you to track the length of every sleep cycle during the night. Also, there is an option for a silent alarm that will wake you with a soft vibration.
Fitbit Versa is excellent for tracking fitness activities, at least partly because the battery lasts for four days. You can follow on-screen workouts which would allow you to have a well-structured training. Also, you can choose between fifteen exercise mods, including running, cycling or lifting weights. It is also great for swimming since it is water-resistant up to 50 meters.
Best sleep pad — Withings/Nokia Sleep
Withings/Nokia Sleep is a great sleep monitor that allows you to keep a record of sleep cycles, heart rate and snoring during the night. This device is a pad that you can place under your mattress. It has a quick setup, and all you need to do is sync it with the Nokia’s Health mate app on your phone via WiFi.
It not only measures how much time you spent sleeping but also how long you were in each sleep cycle. Also, it keeps track of how long it took you to fall asleep and how long you were in bed after waking up. After a night’s sleep, you get a score on the scale 0-100 which also includes heart rate.
Nokia Sleep also offers the possibility to control the lights or room temperature from the comfort of your bed. However, the problem is that these features require you to have some other devices already. Therefore, there is a slight chance that you might not be able to unleash the full potential of Nokia Sleep.
Another issue is the lack of an alarm. Although people usually use their phones for this, it is strange that a device that records your sleeping habits does not possess this option too. You should also keep in mind that one person can only use it. This pad will not affect the comfort of your bed, but keep in mind that you need to plug it into a socket. Even though the cable is rather lengthy, you should not forget about this issue.
Buy Withings/Nokia Sleep: Amazon
Best non-wearable — S+ by ResMed
Resmed S+ is a sleep monitor that can help you with your sleeping habits. A company called ResMed introduced it. The unique feature that this device offers is that you do not need to be in contact with it when sleeping. Furthermore, it works through sending out radio waves. This means that it can sense every time you make a move while in bed.
Before you start using S+, you need to open an account at ResMed and then download their app that is available for both iOS and Android devices. S+ cannot detect when you go to sleep, so you have to activate the device by yourself. Also, keep your phone charged since it is needed for the data gathering.
There is no need to set a fixed wake-up time because you can set a time window of 15–30 minutes. S+ can be quite helpful since it will only go off if you are in a light sleep cycle. Consequently, this feature allows you to avoid feeling groggy when getting up in the morning.
This sleep monitor offers you a range of features that will help you fall asleep:
- Breathing Graph
- Pre-sleep questionnaire (optional)
- Relax to Sleep — plays a mellow sound
- Mind Clear — take notes or record a 60 seconds message
Also, S+ provides you with detailed sleeping metrics and constructive suggestions. However, it does not measure your heart rate but only breathing rate and body movement. Still, you will get a score on a scale 0–100 regarding the quality of your last night’s sleep.
Best for athletes — Emfit QS
Emfit QS is a sleep monitor that is very popular among professional athletes such as football players and cyclists. Sleep is vitalfor athletes who are in dire need of a good night’s rest. This product is currently available at $199,00.
This type of sleep monitor represents another contact-free tracking device. All you need to do is to place it under the mattress and plug it into an outlet. Next, you need to connect it to a WiFi network which would transmit the data to Emfit servers. It comes with a two-year warranty,and it can keep data of up to 360 days of sleep.
Emfit can detect your heartbeat and also every move you make while sleeping. Even, it will start tracking your activity as soon as you go to sleep. This device also gives you a score on a scale of 0–100. If your value is 80 or higher, you can count that you have recovered well.
Furthermore, it offers a wide variety of measurements regarding the sleeping process. First of all, it covers all three stages of sleep:
- Deep Phase — body recovery
- REM Phase — mind recovery
- Light Sleep — crucial for learning
Also, Emfit QS keeps track of these health indicators:
- Heart Rate Variability (HRV) — a time between heartbeats; an indicator of health
- Heart and breathing rates — resting heart rate showcases signs of overtraining
- Recovery data — the difference between night and morning HRV values
- Autonomic Nervous System Balance — important for overall health
- Movement — more movement indicates that the training workload was too high
Buy Emfit QS: eBay
Best AI-powered — Beautyrest Sleeptracker Monitor
The Beautyrest Sleeptracker is a sleep monitor that allows you to gather data about your sleeping habits and presents you with ways of improving it.
This sleep monitor consists of three parts:
- CPU that you can place under or near the bed
- movement sensors
- an app that is available both for Android and for iOS devices
Unlike some other sleep aids, you can use this one for two persons. It also does not confuse signals coming from both users, since it can differentiate between the two of you. Moreover, you can set it up quite quickly and do not think that you will be able to notice the movement sensors.
Furthermore, you will have to create an account. If you do not do this, you will not get the feedback from Alexa, the Amazon AI. Also, when you set it up once, you do not have to worry about it anymore. The device can recognize when you are about to fall asleep based on your breathing, which means that it starts working automatically.
When you wake up, you will able to get the score of your sleep in the matter of an hour. This final score is based on the amount of time you spent sleeping, and how much time you spent in every stage of sleep (light, deep, REM). Also, you can check out your heart and breathing rate. Also, you can fill out a survey regarding your activities during the day, which would help you to get the best possible suggestions for improving the quality of sleep.