Best Sleep Trackers: Our Top 4 Choices for 2018

    Sleep health is critical. Unfortunately, many of us dont get the sleep our bodies need on a regular basis. Have you ever been curious about how well you sleep? Or, maybe you know youre not getting enough rest and want some data to back it up?

    While white noise machines help you to sleep, trackers are a great way to record your sleep habits on a nightly basis. They use relatively new technology to gather different types of data while you sleep. So, in the morning, you have a detailed report.

    Before sleep trackers became available, one of the only ways to accurately learn more about your specific sleep-related habits would be to visit a clinic. These sleep tracking devices can offer similar data, from the comfort of your own home.

    Whether you struggle with a sleep disorder, want to change your sleep habits, or youre just curious about your specific sleep cycle, trackers are a great way to get some answers.

    If you don’t have time to read our product guide in full, click here to go straight to our number one pick, the S+ by ResMed Personal Sleep Solution.

    In this guide, well perform a review 4 of the best sleep trackers. Well look closely at their features, how they work, and how you benefit from the data.

    What Does a Sleep Tracker Do?

    In a clinical sleep study, EEG monitors are used. The subject will usually have multiple electrodes attached to various parts of their body to get accurate data. That may leave you wondering how a small device that you wear on your wrist, or elsewhere on your body could even compete.

    While most home sleep trackers dont have the same medical advancements as sleep clinics, they use similar technology to get results. One way sleep trackers work is called actigraphy.

    Best Sleep Tracker Device

    Actigraphy records your movement while you sleep. When youre wearing a sleep tracker that records your movements, it can correspond them with time awake, and time asleep. Although it is somewhat limited compared to the tests that can be performed in a sleep clinic, there have been multiple studies done that support the relevance and results of at home sleep trackers that use actigraphy.

    What Are the 4 Best Sleep Trackers?

    S+ by ResMed Personal Sleep Solution

    The S+ by ResMed uses state of the art technology to be the first sleep tracking device you can use at home without any physical touch. It may sound impossible to gauge measurements without your body touching the device, but it uses high-frequency sonar to monitor breathing and movement while you sleep.

    It also works as a tracker of your daily habits and activities. The S+ surveys you before you go to bed, asking questions about everything from caffeine intake to stress levels throughout the day.

    S+ by ResMed Personal Sleep Solution

    Features include:

    • Accurate tracking of different sleep stages
    • Measures environmental factors
    • Compares your sleep health with average age/gender

    Pros:

    • Easy to read data
    • Printable data option to take to your doctor
    • Personalized advice on getting better sleep
    • Smart alarm to wake you gently

    Cons:

    • Drains mobile battery quickly
    • Needs to be told when youre getting ready to sleep
    • Must be synced with phone the entire night

    The S+ is the first of its kind. It provides a personalized touch to standard sleep tracking devices and offers detailed data of multiple measurements. If you think a wearable sleep tracker might disrupt your sleep, and like the idea of syncing your tracker to your mobile device, its a great option.

    Measurements: (5.0 / 5)
    Design: (4.0 / 5)
    Data: (5.0 / 5)
    Power: (3.0 / 5)
    Ease: (4.0 / 5)
    Value: (4.0 / 5)
    Average: (4.2 / 5)

    Check the Current Price of the S+ by ResMed Sleep Solution on Amazon!

    FitBit Surge

    FitBit has become well known for tracking different fitness measurements.

    This includes things like steps, stairs, calories burned, and more. The FitBit Surge continues to be a sports and fitness watch, but with far more features. It is the most powerful option in the line of FitBit trackers. Monitoring your sleep can become a part of your daily health routine.

    FitBit Surge

    Features include:

    • Manual or automatic sleep tracking
    • Heart rate monitor
    • Full control of your phone from your wrist

    Pros:

    • You can adjust the sleep data if you think its incorrect
    • Heart rate monitor is continuous, even when sleeping
    • Provides time spent awake, asleep, and restless

    Cons:

    • Battery drains within five hours when you use GPS

    If youre looking for an all-in-one solution to track your fitness goals and sleep habits, the Surge is a great solution. FitBit is a trusted brand that continues to move forward with technology all the time. With the wide range of features in the Surge, there is no shortage of the things youll be able to track. If youre looking for better sleep to reach fitness goals, start here.

    Measurements: (4.0 / 5)
    Design: (3.0 / 5)
    Data: (4.0 / 5)
    Power: (3.0 / 5)
    Ease: (4.0 / 5)
    Value: (4.0 / 5)
    Average: (3.7 / 5)

    Check the Current Price of the FitBit Surge on Amazon!

    Jawbone UP3

    The Jawbone UP3 is often compared to FitBit based on looks alone.

    However, its designed for sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring. As you sleep, it measures things like heart rate, body temperature, and your breathing rate to get an accurate picture of your overall sleep health. Its primary claims to be the best sleep tracker on the market are proven with its accuracy.

    Jawbone UP3

    Features include:

    • Automatic sleep monitoring
    • Shows sleep data in different stages
    • Also works as an activity tracker

    Pros:

    • Showcases time spent in light sleep and heavy sleep
    • Uses sensors for sleep monitoring
    • Long battery life
    • Sleep coaching tips

    Cons:

    • No screen display – must be synced with app to retrieve data

    With so many sleep trackers on the market, the highly advanced sensors being used in the Jawbone UP3 are extremely accurate. While it may not have as many features as other devices, it can produce solid sleep data for you every morning. If youre focusing on sleep, not necessarily fitness, its a great solution.

    Measurements: (4.0 / 5)
    Design: (4.0 / 5)
    Data: (3.0 / 5)
    Power: (3.5 / 5)
    Ease: (4.0 / 5)
    Value: (3.5 / 5)
    Average: (3.7 / 5)

    Check the Current Price of the Jawbone UP3 on Amazon!

    Sense Sleep Tracker

    The Sense sleep tracker is a bit different from other devices.

    Rather than wearing it, the device comes with two parts; one orb-like solution that sits at your bedside, and a small disc that you clip to your pillow. The disc tracks your movements throughout the night, sending data to the orb. The amount of movement is then equated to how much sleep you got throughout the night.

    Features include:

    • Environmental sensors
    • Smart alarm

    Pros:

    • Sleek design
    • Tons of measurements, including air quality and noise
    • Soothing sounds to help you fall asleep

    Cons:

    • Accuracy can be flawed due to movements
    • Microphone doesnt record the noises it picks up

    If youre just getting into the idea of sleep tracking, Sense is a non-invasive way to get a better idea of how well youre sleeping. It also serves as an alarm and a sleep aid if you have trouble getting to sleep in the first place. With a futuristic design and so many additional features, its a great multi-problem solution.

    Measurements: (4.0 / 5)
    Design: (3.0 / 5)
    Data: (3.0 / 5)
    Power: (4.0 / 5)
    Ease: (3.0 / 5)
    Value: (3.5 / 5)
    Average: (3.4 / 5)

    Check the Current Price of the Sense Sleep Tracker on Amazon!

    Criteria for Ratings That Have Been Used

    Each of the sleep tracking devices listed here has been rated on a certain set of criteria. Each of these categories is equally important. A quality sleep tracker will show high markings in each section of criteria, on a scale of 1-5.

    Measurements

    Measurements consist of the types of data a sleep tracker takes, and how it records it. Some measurements are based on preference, like a sleep monitor that also tracks fitness. Other measurements can include things like:

    • Sleep and wake stages
    • Movement
    • Environmental factors
    • Heart rate
    • Breathing and snoring

    Comfort and Design

    There are two types of sleep monitors available for home use: Wearable and non-wearable. Non-wearable devices should have a design that doesnt distract from sleep. Wearable devices should be comfortable and non-invasive, so they dont disrupt your sleep with discomfort. If a device wakes you up because its uncomfortable or distracting, that can take away from its actual purpose.

    Data

    The data a sleep tracker can produce should be in direct correlation to the measurements it takes. However, that data needs to be easy to read and understand. If you struggle with sleeping, you may want to share your data with a doctor, sleep specialist, etc. So, its important for you to be able to understand how your results are being produced, and what they mean.

    Monitors that link to apps or computer programs often include things like graphs and charts. This can make the data collected easier to understand on a daily basis, and collectively over time.

    Power

    A tracking device isnt handy if it needs to be charged or continuously plugged in. If you forget to charge it night after night, it could disrupt the data collected. Or, it could become so inconvenient that you just dont use it as often as you should.

    Looking for devices with a long battery life is essential. Something that lasts several days on one charge will be more beneficial because you can develop a better nightly routine without having to worry about regular charging. Most devices will let you know when the battery is running low, so youll be able to charge as needed.

    Ease of Use

    How easy it is to use your sleep monitor is dependent on almost all of the other review criteria listed. It should gather the measurements most important to you, provide easy to read data and be comfortable enough to wear or use nightly without distraction.

    Remember, sleep trackers are designed to monitor natural sleep. They arent meant to help you get more sleep. However, they shouldnt distract you from healthy sleep, either. Finding a tracker that is easy to use with your regular sleep habits is the key.

    Why Is Sleep Tracking Important and What are the Benefits?

    We can all benefit from the data that they produce. There are different reasons as to why people purchase sleep tracking devices. But, they are beneficial for anyone who is curious about their sleeping habits.

    Using a Sleep Tracker for a Sleep Disorder

    If you have trouble sleeping at night, you may have a sleep disorder thats gone undiagnosed. A sleep tracker can help to give you accurate data about your sleeping patterns if there are any. It will keep track of how often you get up at night, how many hours of sleep you had, and how many hours awake.

    As you collect data over time, you can use it to either confirm a suspicion about a disorder or come to the realization that you need to change your sleep habits.

    You can use the data gathered with the help of a physician to determine if you do have a sleep disorder, like insomnia. Your doctor should be able to recognize the patterns shown for what they are, so you can get the help you need.

    What Is a Sleep Tracker?

    Sleep trackers consist of both wearable and non-wearable devices. They are far less expensive than going to a sleep clinic for an extensive study. Still, finding the right one for your particular habits and needs is essential. It will ensure that youre getting an accurate reading of the data you want. So, what do sleep trackers do?

    According to the National Sleep Foundation, a sleep study is an overnight exam that tracks several different areas of information. They are usually performed on people who have a sleep disorder or are having trouble sleeping without knowing why. Some of the most common trackable items are:

    • Breathing rate
    • Heart rate and rhythm
    • Sleep positions throughout the night
    • Blood pressure
    • REM sleep (eye movement)

    These factors will indicate disruptions in your sleep throughout the night. A sleep study is done at a clinic, under the supervision of a doctor. They use the latest technology and state of the art equipment in a room specially designed to encourage sleep. So, how can a small sleep tracker you use at home compare?

    Using a Sleep Tracker for Mental Health Diagnosis

    Many people who dont get enough sleep suffer from conditions like depression, ADHD, or anxiety. If you experience any of the symptoms that go along with these conditions, tracking your sleep may be a definitive answer as to why you feel that way. If you find youre not sleeping well at night, and nothing else in your life has changed, it could be the culprit for a multitude of mental conditions.

    Once you make the connection between a lack of sleep and your mental state, you can talk with a doctor about possible solutions and treatment options.

    Using a Sleep Tracker to Measure Fitness

    There are plenty of sleep trackers that are automatically included in fitness tracking devices. This provides an all-in-one solution when it comes to tracking as much of your day as possible. But, tracking your sleep can help you reach your fitness goals faster.

    Getting enough sleep is vital for muscle repair, and so that you have enough energy for your fitness routine. Using a tracker can help you to establish an actual bedtime each night, and fall into a routine. It can also show you how much sleep youre getting, so you can make adjustments where necessary to make the most of your workouts.

    Sleep trackers not only help you to establish a healthy routine but can point out areas where your current routine may be doing more harm than good.

    Are Sleep Trackers Safe to Use?

    There have been many myths associated with sleep trackers over the years. There has never been any proof or specific cases where underlying health conditions have been linked to sleep devices.

    The other concern associated with sleep tracking devices has to do with their accuracy. Today, these devices arent as pinpoint accurate as the electrodes doctors might use at a sleep clinic. However, as technology continues to advance, they continue to become more accurate. This is due to different methods of tracking your sleep cycles.

    What Is the Best Sleep Tracker?

    If youre looking for the latest in advanced technology, the S+ by ResMed Personal Sleep Solution is the future of sleep tracking devices. Because you dont have to wear it, you can sleep in comfort and enjoy large amounts of data. That data, in turn, can be given to a doctor if youre regularly having trouble sleeping.

    The S+ is specifically designed to track sleep. Some of the other suggestions listed here are also fitness trackers that record daily activity. Choose a sleep tracker based on your personal needs and goals when it comes to measuring the data that matters most to you.

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