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Sleep Tracker Comparison: A Look Into Different Sleep Monitoring Devices

The blogosphere is saturated with talk of fitness, sleep monitoring devices and sleep tracker comparisons. In this article, we will talk about the importance of sleep and how we can improve it through tracking vital aspects of our sleep. We will also talk about different types of trackers, as well as look at a few devices that can help you keep track of your sleeping patterns.

We took the liberty of checking out a wide range of different sleep trackers to be able to provide a comprehensive sleep tracker comparison. But before we dive directly into different brands of sleep trackers, let’s take a look at the technology, see how it works, and find out which ones suit our individual needs.

Questions to Keep In Mind

First and foremost is the accuracy of the sleep trackers we will be using. Of course, since we are talking about consumer-grade sleep trackers, there will be some limitations in terms of accuracy despite the technological advancements seen in the previous decade.

Since we’re talking about home-based sleep monitoring systems, we will want to focus on the broader picture rather than specific details such as those exclusive to professional systems found in medical sleep centers. So, you shouldn’t expect to get specific details but rather broader insights into your sleeping patterns. Don’t worry even without the detailed analysis of a professional system, you will have more than enough information to draw valuable insights.

Secondly, you want to make sure your device can differentiate between you being stationary and sleeping. Many of us like to lie in bed to read a book or watch a movie. Lying still in bed can confuse some sleep tracking devices into thinking that we’re asleep. So, if your device can’t differentiate between the two, you might not want to spend time in your bed other than for sleeping.

Besides, spending time in bed isn’t a good habit as it can recondition your mind to think that bed is not just for sleeping and could potentially create problems for falling asleep.

Types of Sleep Monitoring Devices

As far as the types of sleep trackers are concerned, there aren’t many options to choose from. If you like the idea of a sleep tracker, as well as an activity tracker, then you might be interested in the trackers of the Fitbits line. These are small lightweight watches that can track a number of physiological parameters, which can be useful for both sleep tracking as well as activity tracking.

In case you’re not particularly interested in the wearable type of sleep trackers and want to avoid wearing something on your wrist while you sleep, you might want to look into non-wearable sleep trackers such as Emfit QS, Withings Aura, Beddit, etc. We will cover these devices later in the article. For now, let’s take a look at what non-wearable devices are.

Non-wearable sleep trackers are dedicated sleep monitoring devices that sit by your bedside. These devices cannot be used to track activity during the day unlike most wearable sleep trackers. But they will provide considerably more detailed information on your sleeping patterns.

However, there is one little potential issue you should be aware of. Non-wearable sleep trackers cannot distinguish between two different individuals. So, if you sleep close to your partner, you might need to check the data for accuracy, as being close can skew the data quite a bit.

How Do These Devices Work

There are five stages of sleep but most consumer-grade sleep tracking devices categorizes sleep into three stages, namely, light, deep and REM sleep. A wearable device cannot detect REM sleep, as it requires a polysomnography. A polysomnography involves measuring of heart rate, breathing, blood oxygen levels, brainwaves and eye movements.

Since a polysomnography is expensive and extremely inconvenient, most trackers offer a simpler but less detailed method for tracking sleep. However, this simplicity means we can use it in the long-term without affecting the quality of our sleep. Most consumer-grade sleep trackers utilize accelerometers and microphones to track the quality of your sleep and categorize them into three different stages.

Sleep Tracker Comparison

Wearable Sleep Trackers

  • FitBit Charge 2

FitBit Charge 2 is a hybrid of an activity and sleep tracker with some elements of a smartwatch. It has one of the best touchscreen displays that any activity/sleep tracker can have. And, surprisingly it’s quite stylish on the wrist as well.

  • Jawbone Up 3

Jawbone Up is another simple activity and sleep tracker. It syncs with smartphones to display all of the data it collects on our physical activity and sleeping habits. Despite its appearance it is packed with a number of advanced sensors such as bio-impedance.

  • AMI MotionLogger

MotionLogger is another wearable sleep tracker and activity tracker. It utilizes accelerometers along with heart rate and temperature monitors to measure quality of our sleep and give detailed information on our sleeping patterns.

Non-Wearable Sleep Trackers

  • Emfit QS

The QS sleep tracker is designed to be placed under the mattress and is targeted towards athletes specifically. Of course, anyone with a keen interest in the quality of their sleep can use it. The device works perfectly without any physical contact. The device offers far more information on our sleeping patterns compared to most wearable sleep trackers.

  • ResMed S+

ResMed S+ also works without any physical contact, however, it doesn’t sit under the mattress, instead, it is supposed to be placed on a bedside table. The device utilizes sonar technology to measure our physiological attributes as we sleep.

  • Beddit 3

Beddit Smart Sleep Monitor consists of a thin unobtrusive strip that instead of going under the mattress, goes under the bedsheet. It tracks a number of different things such as snoring, respiration rate, temperature, etc.

  • Withings Aura

Withings Aura is an imposing device, but it makes up for its lack of subtlety through the number of features it offers. Aside from monitoring sleep, it also acts as a sleep device, helping induce sleep through lighting and sound. It can also be used as an alarm clock, a reading lamp and a wake-up light.


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