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Sleep Trackers Buying Guide

If you are buying a personal sleep tracker for the first time, there is one thing that you should know about this kind of device. It is not accurate all the time. How accurate are sleep trackers?

Research in 2011 by Martin and Hakim said that personal sleep trackers with wrist actigraphy are accurate in estimating the total time of sleep, sleep percentage, and total time of after sleep. Further, they can also provide useful insights about sleep in the natural sleep environment.

However, technology is still advancing at a faster pace than before. That means there is a possible improvement in terms of performance and accuracy of sleep trackers.

While the device or gadget has limitations that affect the accuracy of sleep tracking, sleep professionals would still advise to test them yourself.

This way, you will get a first-hand experience of how accurate are sleep trackers this year. That takes you to the following tips for buying a good sleep tracker.

Which Type of Sleep Tracker to Choose?

Fitness Tracker

Like smartphones, sleep trackers vary in design and features. If you are someone who likes being active and staying fit, you should find a fitness tracker.

In fact, most sleep trackers are also fitness trackers, allowing you to monitor more than your sleep but your fitness progress, too.

With so many options on the market, how will you know which of them will work for you? The answer is up to your preference and of course, budget.

Sleep Coaching applications

In reality, expensive and cheap sleep trackers or fitness trackers could offer the same functionalities. Both can monitor how long your sleep is or how many sleep interruptions you have. The only difference could be the durability and accuracy.

There are sleep trackers that come with useful sleep coaching applications, encouraging users to pay more attention to getting enough sleep and improve their sleep patterns. If you are suffering from a sleeping disorder, you will find this kind of sleep tracker helpful.

Wearable Sleep Tracker

Since most sleep trackers are fitness trackers, manufacturers make products that look like smartwatches.

This way, you are more comfortable wearing it when you sleep at night and workout during the day. Aside from this, wearable sleep tracker also has a vibrating alarm to wake you up without disturbing your partner.

Nonwearable Sleep Tracker

If you are not used to wearing a watch while sleeping or not interested in fitness tracking, choose the products like S+ by Resmed, Emfit QS, Sleepace Reston, and Beddit. These sleep trackers are standalone devices that effectively monitors the quality of your sleep.

According to some, these nonwearable sleep trackers provide more detailed sleep data since they are dedicated to one function. They are said to be more reliable, especially if you are sleeping alone. However, there are still issues with accuracy like mistaking your movements as being awake when you are asleep or mistaking that you are asleep by just being still.

Other features

Aside from monitoring sleep, other sleep trackers have helpful features, too. These add-ons make these devices more attractive as they take on multiple functions that leave you with a lesser need for other equipment.

If you would want to find out how temperature, light, and noise influence your sleep, the brands that you should find are Withings Aura, S+, and Beddit.

Or if you find the idea of using a light and sound machine to help you sleep and wake appealing, the Sense and Withings Aura are good options.

The Bottom Line

Sleep trackers may not be as accurate as Polysomnography, sleep diary, and other methods of sleep tracking, but they are indeed helpful for those who have sleep disorders and those who want to gain more understanding about their health. The technology on a large scale, still has limitations but it is evolving from time to time.

You may not be able to solely rely on this device, but they can give you hints about how well do you sleep. From there, you can focus more on improving your lifestyle.

A restful sleep does not happen overnight, anyway. So, if you are serious about tracking your sleep, it is advisable to use a sleep tracker and consult a doctor to verify results and receive proper guidance.