Being healthy in today’s society is quite difficult for busy working individuals. Best sleep trackers help you keep in touch with your daily physical activity, as well as with the quality and duration of your sleep.
The most common activity and sleep trackers are wristbands. They are easy to attach, remove, and control. These devices have gained a lot of popularity and awareness in these last couple of years.
How to choose the best-fitted sleep tracker for your personal needs? Well, you must take into consideration aspects like step-counting function, reliable sleep tracking or 24/7 heart rate tracking. Sleep trackers can provide a series of information that you were unaware until now. It is important to find one which meets both your needs and budget.
Many of the sleep trackers are also activity guidance tools, even though the main function will focus on your sleep quality.
According to the NIH, over 60 million Americans have chronic or intermittent sleep disorder that affects their health and lives (activitytrackerworld.com). Therefore, there is no surprise in the fact that activity and sleep trackers have an increased popularity.
Important Considerations and Features to Look for in Best Sleep Trackers:
Sleep Analyzing Technologies
This is the most common sensor type. They operate by using an embedded motion detector that monitors your movement during the night. If you wear the device while you are sleeping, it will monitor how many times you turned over, moved the cover, or got out of bed. Accelerometers are cheap and are even found in smart phones.
Heart Rate Monitoring
Even though they used to be expensive, heart rate monitors have a more accessible price these days. The most common type of heart rate monitors are chest strep style sensors. However, this kind of sensors can be big and uncomfortable to wear during sleeping time.
Radio waves are used to measure your heart rate along with sleep cycles. The main benefit of this method is that it is totally unobtrusive (you do not have to have a sensor attached to your body).
There are different devices that can be used to monitor your sleep, each of them with its pros and cons.
Many smart phones have the ability to monitor your sleep quality. They can do this by tracking movement. However, you will not get detailed information about your sleep.
Fitness Trackers and Smart Watches
There is a wide variety of fitness trackers (many shapes and sizes). The most common ones are those which can be worn with a clip on your clothes. The more advanced ones are similar to watches and you may wear them around your wrist. These last ones monitor many different metrics, from calories burned to heart rate.
Dedicated Sleep Trackers
There are some devices on the market that are solely measuring sleep quality. This type of device is for the people who focus more on their sleep and less on their physical activity. Through this dedicated sleep tracker, you can find out detailed information about your activity during night time. Moreover, they monitor aspects like ambient light and noise, humidity, and air quality.
Quantifying sleep levels
It is the largest portion of your sleeping time, and it is a slow, more relaxed type of sleep.
REM means “rapid eye movement”. This name is due to involuntarily movements of your eyes, in different directions. This represents the smallest portion of your sleep period, and it occurs especially while you are dreaming.
Not all trackers have the functions to measure deep sleep. This means that you are moving much less during this period.
Find below a list of some of the best sleeping trackers in 2016:
Fitbit Charge HR
This device is interesting and easy to wear. It looks similar to a smart watch. It combines two type of measurements: physical activity, and sleep tracking. Fitbit has a modern and stylish digital display.
It has plenty of benefits (modern design, heart rate measurement, activity and sleep tracking, silent vibration morning alarm, small, comfortable). A disadvantage of this device can be that the digital screen is quite small. Fitbit price is 128 dollars.
Sleep as Android
Sleep as Android is a mobile app, featured only on Android system devices. It was initially designed to gently wake you up in the morning. However, it has come a long way since then. The app monitors your sleep and shows you graphs of your sleep cycles. Sleep as Android even pays attention to the sound in the room while you are sleeping, to catch you snoring, recording your talking during sleep, or discover sleep difficulties such as sleep apnea.
This sleep tracker has a subtle and elegant design. It is slightly cheaper than other devices; it costs 95 dollars. It is one of the most accurate and advanced sleep trackers. Jawbone Up has a great battery life duration, up to seven days. It even gives you sleeping tips to improve your sleep. On the other hand, it does not have a screen display, for you to be able to monitor your activity information during the day.
Sleep Cycle is an iOS app that watched your sleep habits, trying to wake you up at the best possible moment in the morning. It costs only 1 dollar, and for this money you can also get motion monitoring. The app shows you the results on easy-to-follow graphs. Sleep Cycle is also functioning as an alarm clock, and you can customize the alarm music tone.
Beddit Smart 2.0 Sleep Monitor
Besides sleep, this sleep tracker monitors your heart rate and your breathing. It consists of a simple strip which you place on your bed, under the sheets. The strip is connected to an app, on your smart phone. The cost of this device is 150 dollars. The accuracy of this sleep tracker is pretty good, especially if you sleep alone. If you sleep with a partner, they can disturb your results.
This is another useful device, ideal for those who sleep alone. Sleep tracking is its sole function. It has a medical sensor incorporated in the device. Sleepace is measuring your sleep in more details than usual activity trackers. However, it may slip out of the bed, in case you move a lot during night time. Its cost is 150 dollars.
To sum up, sleep trackers offer smarter conditions for better sleep. Some of them are developing, becoming more and more complex, in terms of function complexity. These devices can show you what are your sleep problems, and even why do you have them. This way, you can communicate those details to your doctor, and find a quick solution to your problem.