Best Sleep Tracker for 2018 Review- Pick the ideal Sleep Tracker - GGP
Best Sleep Tracker for 2017 Review- Pick the ideal Sleep Tracker

Best Sleep Tracker for 2018 Review- Pick the ideal Sleep Tracker

Which is the Best Tracker to measure Sleep?

Sleep is a natural occurrence. It prompts people and animals to switch into a state of unconsciousness. Unlike sickness triggered unconsciousness, sleep is easy to reverse through slight stimulation. Human beings often dream in their sleep.

Everybody sleeps at some point during the day or night. It is said that human beings spend a third of their entire lifetime sleeping. So mighty is sleep such that it conquers the mightiest of people.

Though it is meant to occur naturally, many people have difficulty sleeping. Some of the reasons for this being that life has become tough, and people have become extra busy. Many people rarely find time to get quality sleep. And when they do, they do not know their sleep patterns. Researchers have come up with the best sleep trackers to aid people in monitoring their sleep.

Sleep helps the body relax. People who have sufficient sleep wake up full of exuberance. They perform their work with lots of energy and are said to have high concentration levels. Good sleep helps keep some diseases at bay. Ultimately, it is not the amount of sleep but the quality of sleep that matters.

Many times, sleep therapists rely on the information given to them to come up with a diagnosis. While this could be the most accurate method, it might sometimes take long to come up with a concrete report. No one is able to tell what happens before and during their sleep.

This is about to change with the emergence of the sleep tracker. This device enables users to monitor their sleep quality and patterns. It gives users assistance on ways to improve their sleep. There are many sleep trackers in the market. They come with various specifications and features. One can buy an activity and sleep tracker which monitors the user's activity while asleep.

How can an individual sleep better?

  • Keep check of sleeping and waking time and stick to a particular schedule. This enables people to get quality sleep. It is also advisable to go to bed once one starts feeling sleepy. Only then are they guaranteed to sleep without a period of frustrating tossing and turning.
  • Do not get exposure to light during sleeping time. The brain secretes melatonin a sleep triggering hormone when it is dark. Light causes its disruptions.
  • Ensure that the bedroom is clean, well ventilated and calm. It can be difficult getting quality sleep in a noisy and stuffy bedroom.
  • Try to be stress-free. Relaxing the brain is a good way of getting enough and quality sleep.
  • Make the sleeping area adaptable to sleeping only. If the bedroom has a television, it is advisable to do away with it.
  • Do not disrupt the sleeping schedule during weekends. This can cause more fatigue than rest. Some people extend their nights during the weekend, and the best way for them to cover for the deficit is catching subsequent naps during the day.

How do Sleep Trackers Work and are they Reliable?

Many health complications today are as a result of poor sleep. Many doctors are performing sleep studies on patients to determine the root cause of some persistent complications. The study of sleep is known as polysomnography or simply PSG. It is conducted by having someone monitor the patient while they sleep. Other equipment are also involved in the monitoring.

The aim of this exercise is to assess the;

  • Electrical activity of the brain
  • Breathing rhythm
  • Heart rhythm and rate
  • Sleeping positions
  • Eye movement
  • Respiratory system activity
  • Muscle activity
  • The level of oxygen in the blood

With this data, the sleep specialist is able to identify sleep disorders. This data collection takes two to three days. It is hard then to imagine that a small device can collect all this data. Sleep trackers are either wearable or non-wearable.

The invention of the best sleep tracker wristband is a scientific art. It involves actigraphy which is described as the monitoring of human rest and activity cycles. For years, polysomnography has been known as the gold standard of sleep evaluation. Recently, actigraphy has gained popularity because it is less expensive and bulky as compared to polysomnography.

The actigraph

The actigraph unit is often worn on the wrist. It is advantageous in that it only records the required data. Therefore, the user can continue with their normal routines without having to take it off. The Actigraph is able to monitor and evaluate sleepiness during the day as well as insomnia, underlying sleep disorders, and even excessive sleepiness.

With time, technological advancements have raised the accuracy of this device to highs of 90% and above. Actigraph units come in different types. The basis activity tracker is worn around the waist. It determines the number of calories lost and monitors the person's activity when they are awake.

Movement actigraphs

There are movement actigraphs as well. These ones are larger and are worn on the dominant arm, unlike the small sleep trackers which are worn on the non-dominant arm. They have larger memories and are worn for few hours to determine a person's movement activity.

The best sleep tracker comes with an expansion allowance for its features notwithstanding its size. However, few factors limit this capability. These are;

  • While the quickest sample rate in one-minute intervals is capable of calculating sleep, it does not perform as well in other parameters.
  • Even though the sample rate is the main component, the unit’s memory determines how long the calculations are taken.
  • The battery life of some sleep trackers is short.

The addition of features is likely to make the sleep tracker heavier, therefore, disrupting its use.

For a conclusive report, the user will need to wear the sleep tracker even while swimming. Altering the manufacturer features can hinder this.

Some of the features which can be added to sleep trackers are

  • Upgrading it to give it watch-like features.
  • Sensors for various functions e.g. temperature, light, brain waves etc.
  • Buttons to show particular events
  • Upgrading it to allow for analysis of various activities.

Is the Sleep Tracker Reliable?

According to research, the basis sleep tracker is efficient in that it evaluates sleep in a natural environment. Nevertheless, it is important to seek medical assistance if sleep disorder problems persist.

As much as the sleep tracker provides almost accurate information, sometimes it can give erroneous information. This happens because of its inability to differentiate between being asleep and being motionless while awake. As such, people with severe insomnia should not expect accurate results from these trackers.

Consistent research comparing the sleep trackers and Polysomnography has revealed a similarity in the results. This has led to the conclusion that despite the obvious limitations that these trackers have, they are quite useful.

These results have also pushed manufacturers to dig deeper into upgrading the devices to accommodate more commands. Some of them prompt the users to define whether they are motionless and awake or going to sleep. Continued research on the similarity of results between Polysomnography and sleep trackers revealed that the basis sleep tracker produced identical results to the PSG.

There are numerous non-wearable devices as well. They include;

  • The Withings Aura Smart Sleep System
  • The Sleep face Reston
  • The Sense and Beddit Smart Sleep Monitor

Unlike the wrist sleep trackers which are worn almost everywhere, these ones are usually only used while in the bedroom. They have a thin sensor that the user sleeps on top of. The non-wearable trackers pride themselves in relaying accurate results.

How do Sleep Tracker Apps work?

There are various sleep tracker apps whose purpose is to help the user monitor their sleep. Every best sleep app has different features even though there are similarities. These apps include;

Sleep Cycle

It monitors both the user's sleep patterns and the day to day movements. This app informs users on the best position to place their iPhones. It has an alarm clock and presents results of the user’s sleep in graphic representation. One can get it for a reasonable amount. Though it comes with mellow sounds, one can choose to wake up to their preferred alarm sounds. However, it is only compatible with iOS.

SleepBot

This app is free and gives the users the average time spent in bed. It also lets them know how much sleep deficit they have. It comes with auto-recording features. These enable people to determine whether or not they snore. It offers users tips on how they can improve their sleep.

Pillow

Users can set up nap alarms and also choose alarm songs to wake them up. This app is free for iOS devices. It tracks and keeps a detailed history of the user’s sleep patterns. It can determine the right time to wake the users up. When synced with an apple watch, it is able to relay the pulse rate during sleep.

Sleep Time

The Sleep Time app acts as a lullaby by playing soothing music to accelerate sleep. The user has the option of choosing the music they would like to hear from iTunes. It is free and compatible with Android and iOS devices.

Many people have used these apps. Many reviews reveal that while they are useful, they may be confusing. This is because they tend to differ in results amongst each other. All in all, they offer ideal solutions. When taken into consideration, these hints can help the user develop better sleeping patterns.

How effective is your sleep tracker?

Sleep tracking devices keep track of the amount of time you spend sleeping. They also monitor and record activity to produce data on how motion or motionless your sleep is. Some of the advanced trackers are able to record the breathing and snoring activity.

While some of the information they relay can be over or under estimated. Close monitoring might reveal uniformity in the results. Using more than one model of the device can be effective in finding the most appropriate one.

Remember that the factors determining the effectiveness of these devices are numerous. The sleep trackers often come installed with apps. Many times users forget to switch the apps on which leads into zero recordings.

For these sleep trackers to function well, the battery should be properly charged. There are limitations for people who suffer frequent power failure. Some of these devices have to be plugged into a power source to avoid shutdowns.

Though many users may not understand some of the information relayed by sleep trackers, it has been reported that consistent use has been useful. They have been able to understand the functionality of the device better. Additionally, they have been able to understand their insomnia triggers and methods of dealing with the same.

Can Sleep tracking make us feel better?

Insomnia is disturbing and quite uncomfortable. Many people would do anything to get quality sleep. In addition to PSG, sleep tracking can help the user develop better sleeping habits. Remember that using sleep trackers only may not be the ultimate solution to insomnia.

Sleep happens in various stages. Calculating particular sleep stages is done by using electrode enabled devices. These are attached to the head where they monitor the user's brain activity. Sleep tracker sensors are said to offer conflicting results sometimes. Many factors can contribute to this. This includes the inaccuracy of the sensors and faults in the software. Thankfully, these errors do not happen very often.

People wishing to monitor and track their sleep can still find these devices very useful. There are practices though that the users must adapt in order to get quality sleep. Individuals should try to get adequate sunlight during the day. They should also avoid poor eating habits.

The sleep tracker provides useful hints on what users can do to achieve quality sleep. Users are likely to gain a lot from putting them into practice. Many people have reportedly become more relaxed and jovial after a good night’s sleep. Adapting to sleep trackers can be the key to quality sleep.

Benefits of Sleep Trackers

  • Many people unknowingly suffer from insomnia. Using sleep trackers can help users identify underlying sleep disorders. Visiting a sleep therapist for severe cases is advisable. The professional is able to recommend the best sleep tracking device for you. Some sleep disorders require advanced medical attention.
  • It is difficult to decipher the relationship between quantity and quality in sleep. It is even more difficult to tell the difference. Sleep trackers lay bare the amount of sleep one is getting. They also relay movement data and time spent awake. Some advanced trackers can monitor the time between every sleep stage. Analyzing this data gives users an overall report about their health.
  • Sleep trackers trigger users to identify possible causes of poor sleep. They are also able to come up with suggestions to curb them.
  • Sleep trackers promote good health and fitness. Different people have insomnia and excessive sleeping for various reasons. Sleep tracking helps users identify these triggers while offering possible solutions. Research indicates that many people start working out and eating healthy meals after sleep tracking.

Which is the Best Sleep Tracker?

The increasing demand for the best sleep trackers has seen the market flood with these devices. Technological advancements have also seen manufacturers come up with multifunctional devices.

For example, people looking to track their sleep and monitor their fitness progress can buy the best fitness tracker for sleep. This will save them from having to buy different devices. However, it is not easy to determine the best device that works accordingly. It would also not be practical to try many devices at once since they are a bit expensive. How then can one know the best device?

The web is full of reviews. Perhaps the best way to decide on a particular gadget is surfing the web. People should, however, be careful since not all sites contain credible information. Here is a list of some of the best sleep trackers.

Sense Sleep System

The Sense sleep tracker comes in a stylish design. It has inbuilt sounds which act as a lullaby to the user. It has the capability to cover any noise during the night ensuring that users enjoy a peaceful night. The available colors are white and charcoal.

It has a sleep monitor which helps users understand the environment in their bedroom. The monitor also helps the user improve their sleep quality and pattern.

It calculates the amount of time spent before falling asleep, time spent sleeping, restless, waking up, and the time in between light, medium, and deep sleep.

The smart alarm can be programmed to go off during the lightest phase of sleep. It is fitted with mellow tunes to help users wake up feeling enthusiastic, energetic, and relaxed. The smart alarm goes off on the user's set time.

This device includes two pieces. One piece is kept right beside the bedside table to monitor how conducive the environment is for sleep. The other piece is clipped on the pillow. This monitors and records a person's movement during sleep.

It also comes with sensors to help the user understand how sound, temperature, light and many more factors affect their sleep. It gives users the option of controlling some of its functions by waving.

Limitations

  • The user might be forced to adjust the alarm manually.
  • The microphone only records noise. This makes it difficult for the user to decipher the type of noise.
  • The alarm does not come with a snooze option.
  • It can misunderstand being motionless and being asleep.
  • People looking for a detailed sleep report may not be satisfied with this device's data.

The users who took part in the sense sleep tracker review noted that it is good for light and sensitive sleepers. Its ability to determine whether the environment is conducive for sleep is a plus.


Fitbit Charge 2

The Fitbit Charge 2 is multifunctional. It is the best wearable sleep tracker. It also doubles up as an activity monitor and comes with inbuilt smart watch features.

It comes out as the best wearable heart rate monitor. With accurate and continuous pulse rate monitoring. For people looking to track the number of calories burnt every day, this is the device to go for. It calculates the steps taken, distance covered, floors climbed if any, and the calories burnt.

How does Fitbit Charge track sleep? Once it comes to a detailed sleep pattern report, it calculates the total sleep time and the amount of time spent awake or restless.

One is able to choose the options they would like displayed on the home screen. It gives users the option to choose their favorite time format.

The state of the art design is both attractive and comfortable to wear. Additionally, users can sync it with their phones. This gives them the option of receiving calls, text messages and other active alerts.

As it has a silent vibration setting, users can use them as alarms. The relaxation feature enables users to monitor their breathing activity.

The wristbands are interchangeable and it is easy to use.

Limitations

  • It lacks GPS function which makes activity tracking difficult.
  • It cannot be used while swimming or in the shower because it is not water resistant.

This sleep tracker does not need any additions to make it look magnificent. It is fitted with many useful features and users can highly benefit from using it. Its accuracy makes it worth buying.


Fitbit Blaze

This device comes with a wide LCD color touch screen. It is water resistant though it cannot be used in the shower or while swimming. Its battery life can last for five days. It comes complete with a Fitbit mobile phone App.

The tracker gives users detailed information about the total time spent sleeping, restless and awake. The sensors monitor movement and it has a heart rate monitor. It presents users with hints on how to improve their sleep.

It gives accurate reports on activity taken e.g. cycling or running, distance covered, calories burnt etc. It has an inbuilt Fitstar App which suggests to users the ideal exercises they can undertake.

The Fitbit auto sleep detection device has a powerful battery. It features a wide variety of colors too. Users can sync it with their phones to access calls, alerts, text messages and music.

The Fitbit Blaze sleep tracking device app is easy to use and relays results in an engaging manner.

Limitations

  • It does not have GPS.
  • It could misinterpret being motionless-and-awake as sleeping
  • It looks unproportional when worn
  • It is not waterproof

This device is worth buying because it is accurate. The Fitbit app is also easy to interpret and gives users tips on how to improve their sleep. It is also modern and the features are interesting to use.


Fitbit Surge

How accurate is Fitbit sleep tracking? The Fitbit Surge has been credited with being the most powerful and with more features. Unlike the Fitbit smart alarm feature in the Fitbit Charge tracker, the Surge has a touch screen display. It comes with GPS tracking which enables users to know the distance they cover. The continuous heart rate monitor enables users to access data on their activity levels every day.

When it comes to how to track sleep on Fitbit, this device presents users with the option to choose automatic or manual functions. It analyses the time spent sleeping, restless and awake. It has advanced features which enable users to identify callers, read text messages and play music.

The display is digital and touch screen enabled complete with side buttons. It calculates the calories burnt depending on the activities done.

Limitations

  • Due to its advanced features and GPS inclusion, the battery drains very fast.
  • It is big. This may make it look bigger when worn by people with tiny wrists.

It functions well as a fitness device. However, for users looking for the ideal Fitbit sleep tracking device, this may not be the one. Apart from that, it is a great device with great features. It is among the few devices with an inbuilt smart watch, GPS, sleep tracking and heart rate all under one.


S+ By ResMed Personal Sleep Solution

This sleep tracker does not need any physical touch to function. The design enables it to sit comfortably on the bedside table. It can monitor sleep and the environment in the bedroom.

It incorporates non-contact radio frequency to track the user's movement and breathing as they sleep. It has the capability to collect personal data during the day and night and recommend solutions for improved sleep.

The S+ By ResMed Personal Sleep Solution is the most accurate activity tracker. It also tracks the wake stages as well as the light and deep stages. It is advanced in that it can give comparisons between age, gender and the sleep score of the user.

It calculates the amount of light and temperature in the bedroom. The inbuilt smart alarm has been designed and programmed to wake users during the light stage of their sleep.

Once it has monitored the user’s sleep patterns, it acts as a sleep coach by giving advice on how to improve the environment, for better sleep.

The sleep data produced by this sleep tracker can be printed and presented to a specialist. They are also presented clearly through the phone App which is also duplicated on the website.

Limitations

  • Users have to inform the tracker when they are about to sleep. It does not detect this automatically.
  • For maximum results, users need to pair it with their mobile phones during the night.
  • Due to its extensive array of features, it drains its battery fast.
  • It can only be controlled through the user's mobile phone

The S+ By ResMed Personal Sleep Solution gives accurate sleep data complete with graphs. It lacks the capability to inform users how much time they spent in each sleep stage. It, however, compensates that with sleep coaching.


Jawbone UP3

The Jawbone UP3 is among the most advanced sleep trackers available. The Jawbone sleep tracking firmware received a major boost in 2015 which helped upgrade it.

It uses advanced sensors to calculate the user heart and breathing rate, galvanic skin response, and body temperature. These sensors have the ability to tell the difference between being awake and the sleep stages.

This device tracks sleep automatically and gives accurate reports such as the steps taken and distance covered plus the number of calories burnt.

Its battery lasts up to 7 days. It comes in a fashionable bracelet design and an app that gives detailed results. Users are able to receive sleep coaching tips depending on their sleep patterns.

Limitation

  • It does not come with a screen display and gives less detailed activity tracking.
  • It does not come with a screen display and gives less detailed activity tracking.

Despite these shortcomings, the Jawbone UP3 is accurate and is able to detail the time spent awake, restless and asleep.


Fitbit Charge HR

The Fitbit Charge HR sleep tracking device is easy to use and lighter than its looks. How does Fitbit know you are sleeping? It tracks sleep automatically. It comes fitted with a constant pulse rate monitor and it also comes with a silent vibrating alarm. This ensures that the user wakes up feeling great.

It has smart features which include caller identification and calculation of steps and distance covered by the wearer.

The battery lasts long and it has a wireless syncing feature to connect with smartphones. This Fitbit sleep accuracy device also monitors the number of calories burnt. It is also reasonably priced.

Limitations

  • Because it lacks a manual feature for turning sleep mode on, it can fail to accurately record sleep patterns sometimes.
  • It only monitors sleep one hour after sleeping. Also, it cannot track the REM sleep stage neither can it differentiate between light and deep sleep.

While the Fitbit Charge HR is a great sleep tracker, it may not be quite efficient to people looking into constantly tracking their quality of sleep. It also gives users the opportunity to challenge fellow Fitbit users with activity goals.


Withings Aura Smart Sleep System

The Withings Aura Smart Sleep System comes with a sound unit and light. These are designed to make users relax before falling asleep.

The components of this device are;

  • A strap for monitoring the user's movement
  • A bedside unit to measure environmental effects. It also produces sound and light
  • A mobile app to coordinate its functions and relay results.

This tracker also comes with an alarm clock, a reading lamp, a wake-up light etc. Before the user sleeps, music plays automatically on the bedside unit to sooth them to sleep.

It has a fading light on the timer which glows in order to trigger melatonin production. When this hormone is produced, the clock automatically starts tracking the user's sleep.

The smart alarm has been programmed to wake users up gently during light sleep. The awake time, restless time, the time it took before sleeping, and all sleep stages are recorded. It tracks both the heart and breathing rates. The movement during sleep is also monitored.

The inbuilt sensors monitor the temperature in the room, light, and noise. The sleep tracker communicates with the App to let the user find out how these factors affect their sleep.

Limitations

  • It is not easy to relate to. It provides users with data but does not offer coaching lessons.
  • Users do not have the option of choosing and adding sounds of their choice.
  • Many users find both the instructions and the data difficult to understand.
  • Though it displays unique features that are different from other devices, it is expensive.
  • It can also fail in accuracy in the event users roll over the strip.

Beddit Smart 2.0 Sleep monitor

BedditSmart 2.0 Sleep monitor

This non-wearable sleep tracker monitors the user's sleep through a strip which lies under the bed sheet. It comes with an App that is compatible with the user's smartphone.

It is designed to monitor both the heart and respiration rates. It is reported that it is quite good in accuracy. However, its accuracy depends on whether or not the user sleeps alone.

It can track and record time spent sleeping, restless, and the number of times the user spends out of bed. It is also good for monitoring sleep stages.

It is easy to use and can automatically sense the heart and breathing rate to ascertain when the user is asleep. It’s smart alarm is designed to wake the user up gently during the light sleep cycle.

The ultimate results are relayed on the tracker's app complete with a comprehensive sleep score.

Limitations

  • This app does not work well for users sleeping with a partner. Additionally, if the user rolls away from the recording strip it fails to record.
  • Though it offers sleep coaching, it is not conclusive.

All in all a look at various online reviews indicate that most users are happy with its results. People with poor sleeping patterns though may not be fully satisfied.

A Reddit review indicates that even though it encounters calculation problems, it gives out more sleep data as compared to wrist sleep trackers. It is easy to use and comes with an Android and iOS app giving the user the option to analyze sleep data using their mobile phones. Additionally, it cannot function with two people. Its sleep data recording depends on whether the user sleeps on it or not. People who roll a lot cannot get accurate sleep analysis.


Basis Peak

The Basis Peak Sleep tracker is designed with sensors and smartwatch functions. It is classy and displays a sense of appeal when worn on the wrist. Despite its seemingly huge size, it provides an elegant look on the wearer’s wrist.

The basis sleep tracker is waterproof and swimmers do not have to take it off. It monitors sleep automatically and relays accurate results. It has the ability to calculate light sleep stages and the amount spent sleeping.

It tracks activity automatically and has a constant heart rate monitor. It comes with a mobile phone app where the results are clearly displayed. Users can access them on an online app.

Users have the option of receiving phone calls, text messages, emails and active alerts. The display screen is scratch resistant and sturdy. The battery can also go for up to five days.

Limitations

  • It lacks GPS. Users are not able to track the distance taken and the routes traveled. It has limitations when it comes to exercise. E.g. gym goers do not have the advantage of tracking their pulse rate and calories burnt.
  • Coaching lessons are not incorporated. This makes it difficult to understand some of the data relayed.

Away from the limitations, the Basis Peak sleep tracker has received good commendations. The sleep measurements have been known to be accurate.


Sleepace Reston

The Sleepace Reston's sole role is to sleep track. This sleep tracker calculates the user's sleep in detail. It is able to monitor time spent asleep, awake, the amount of light in the room, the movement etc.

It has a pulse monitor to calculate both the heart and respiratory rates. It gives sleep coaching tips and advice which enables users to understand the data relayed to them.

The battery has a long life and it comes with an easy to understand app. Users rarely feel them when they sleep.

Limitations

  • It does not come with automatic sleep and wake monitors. Users have to manually set and stop the tracker.
  • Chances that it may fall out of bed are high. This is especially for people with poor sleeping habits.
  • It works best for people who sleep alone. However, this sleep tracker remains one of the most detailed sleep trackers. The results are relayed complete with graphs. To help the user understand conclusively, the coaching monitor offers lessons and guidance.

The app is a good method to analyze the data fully.


Final thoughts on Sleep Tracker

Sleep trackers help users monitor their sleep patterns. However, individuals who suffer from insomnia or other sleeping disorders should try to understand the real triggers for their conditions.

Some medication can be sleep depriving. People addicted to caffeine can also work on ways to limit the same.

Exercising the body is a good way of promoting good sleeping habits. Additionally, do not eat huge meals right before sleeping. Everybody wakes up at some point in between sleep. When this happens, it is important to limit exposure to light.

With the help of sleep trackers, users are able to understand the actions they should take in order to be able to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

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