We spend approximately one third of our lives asleep. It is a biological necessity as important to us as food and water. When we do not get enough sleep, or our ideal sleep patterns are interrupted, it can have a serious impact on our mental and physical health, along with decreasing productivity. A recent poll of the Tech.co audience showed some interesting insights (16 percent of the Tech.co audience saying sleep is not necessary, hello night owls!).
In general, though, it is accepted that sleep is vital for business success, which is why more and more entrepreneurs are turning to sleep tracking to get the edge. Monitoring our sleep/wake patterns, a method formally known as actigraphy, is an ideal way to gain the insight necessary to determine how efficient our quality of sleep actually is.
Enter The Sleep Tracker
Sleep trackers are designed precisely with this purpose in mind. Entirely non-invasive, practical and accurate, these devices are able to monitor, track and analyze all important facets of the sleep cycle. Most people are unaware as to the number of influencing factors that affect their sleep. It is far more involved than simply counting how many hours of sleep is had each night. It is also important to gauge the continuity of your sleep.
Best Sleep Trackers 2016
Not surprisingly, given market demand, there is a huge range of sleep trackers on the market today and navigating through them all can be time consuming. Below are three of the best sleep trackers to consider for a better nights sleep.
This is a dedicated sleep tracker that incorporates medical grade sensors for greater precision and accuracy. It is designed as a large belt that is placed around your mattress under a sheet or mattress pad. The sensor itself is thin and does not cause unwanted protrusions, allowing the sleeper to lay on top of it in total comfort as they sleep.
The data collected by the sensor includes how long the subject was awake and asleep while laying down, how many times the person turned over, the length of the different stages of sleep, heart rhythm, respiration rate — it can even detect minor heart pauses and the presence of sleep apnea. It is truly one of the most comprehensive sleep trackers in terms of monitoring capability.
All of the data that the Sleepace Reston collects is gathered and analyzed by an app on an iPhone or Android device. It is presented in an intuitive and easily digestible user interface.
In terms of price, Sleepspace Reston can be purchased from $149.99.
Sense is a sleep tracker that does not require the subject to wear a monitor, nor does it require a sensor to be placed on the bed. Instead, this innovative device it is comprised of a small, sphere-like unit that is placed on the night stand next to the person whose sleeping patterns are to be monitored. Contained within the Sense sphere is a collection of motion, light, sound, temperature and humidity sensors that continuously monitor the subject's motion and the ambient conditions present.
Through an app, the collected data is presented on a minute by minute basis, as well as in synopsis form. This information provides not only a clear image of sleeping patterns, but also what ambient conditions were present. Since Sense incorporates a progressively learning algorithm in its app, the unit provides suggestions on what the subject could do to improve their sleep efficiency.
The Sense also functions as a “smart alarm.” This means that the unit will utilize the data it has collected to awaken the subject at the best time so as not to interfere with deep sleep. The subject simply selects a time range for waking and the Sense takes care of the rest. In terms of price, this innovative device costs just $129.
This particular tracker combines an iOS and Android app with a third-party Bluetooth enabled heart monitor to provide detailed sleep tracking and analysis. It also uses the microphone of the smartphone on which it is installed to gauge environmental noise conditions during the sleep cycle.
Following a few days of data collection and analysis, SleepRate then begins to provide the user with recommendations, based on the detected sleeping patterns, to improve the subject's level of sleep efficiency.
While SleepRate can function without pairing it to a third-party heart rate sensor, its functionality is limited without such a pairing. It can be paired to some of the most popular sensors on the market, such as the Polar H chest belt, the Wahoo Tickr, Suunto Smart Sensor, CardioSport Smart, and many others.
There are three options for purchase, ranging from $49 (if you have your own sensor) through to $149 for the complete kit.
The monitoring of our sleep patterns is as crucial to good health as is the monitoring of our exercise and diet. Modern technology has made this level of monitoring a practical reality. Sleep trackers, in their various forms, provide a useful tool to help those wishing to maximize their sleep efficiency gain the insight they need to make the changes required for a good night's sleep.