Goodnight Moon: The 6 Best Sleep Trackers

Sleep should be as easy and natural as overeating and trying to reproduce with the luscious barista around the corner from your office, but for many people, it isn’t. They walk through life half zombified because they were woken up at the wrong time by an alarm clock that pulls them from their slumber at an unnatural time, making their brainwaves sluggish and affecting their energy level. Perhaps you are one of these lost souls who hasn’t found a way to sleep properly. If you’re ready to break the cycle, improve your sleep, and energize yourself every day, then it’s time to spend some dough on a sleep tracker.

Sleep tracking devices monitor your heart rate, respiration, skin temperature, light, and body movements throughout the night to ascertain how much quality sleep you are getting and typically they help you adjust your cycle so that you can finally slap the sandman around and show him how a true pro hits the rack. There are a lot of products out there that claim they can help you, but they cost a pretty penny. To break it down and give you the top of the line, here’s our 6 best sleep trackers.

Sense Sleep Tracker

Sense Sleep Tracker

Pro: Checks multiple bedroom conditions
Con: Potential privacy issues

Environmentalist: The Sense is still in its pre-order phase, but is expected to ship at any time. This device uses two components, the discreet base unit which can be put on a dresser or nightstand – or even tucked into a drawer if you’re ashamed of it – and the Sense Pill which clips to your pillow. Inside the Pill is an accelerometer and gyroscope that detects your movements to determine how well you are sleeping. In addition to watching you sleep, the base also checks the temperature of the room, humidity levels, ambient lights, noise disturbances, and particulates in the air to give you a comprehensive idea of what is going on in your bedroom. It then uses this information to tell you what needs to change through a handy iOS or Android app. It gives you a score each night so you can see what conditions worked best for you. The alarm wakes you up at the lightest point of your sleep cycle for an easier transition in the morning. Just keep in mind, it knows how often you get laid and is silently judging you. [Purchase: $129]

ResMed S Plus Sleep Solution

ResMed S+

Pro: No physical interaction required
Con: Does not automatically detect sleep

Untouchable: Most of the devices on the market attach to your pillow or your chest, strap to your wrist like a GPS running watch, or slip under your sheets like a creepy neighbor, all of which can interfere with your rest. The ResMed S+ doesn’t come anywhere near you. It abhors human contact and will thank you to respect its boundaries. Instead you aim it at your chest and it keeps track of movement and respiration while simultaneously taking in data about the room, such as temperature, lighting, and sounds. It parses all of this information and makes suggestions about what you can change about your environment to get a better night’s rest. It uses an app to offer recommendations about basic, juvenile necessities such as setting a bed time or unwinding before bed, rather than working or staring at a screen before falling asleep. For some reason, you do need to put it into “Sleep” mode before you nod off since it won’t automatically detect when slumber comes. [Purchase: $150]

Basis Peak

Basis Peak

Pro: Tracks most REM sleep from the wrist
Con: False sleep positives

Run ‘N Rest: This is the upgraded version of the Basis B1, which was one of our favorite fitness trackers due to the large quantities of unusual data that it could produce. The Peak follows in its footsteps, and while it is only a passable fitness tracker compared with others, it is an excellent at tracking sleep – with fitness undertones. Unlike traditional wrist models, this manages to determine not only deep sleep and light sleep just from movement and heart rate, but is able to accurately find most REM sleep cycles to tell you how much dream sleep your body is engaging in. It doesn’t need to be set to a special mode, so whenever you drift off, so long as you’re wearing it, it can pick up the changes in your body and begin tracking your rest. This automated system is good, but sometimes just watching television or sitting in a theater can confuse it into believing you’re actually asleep, which will alter the data from the Peak. [Purchase: $200]

Withings Aura

Withings Aura

Pro: Includes relaxing lights and sounds
Con: Only for iOS

Adapt and Conquer: While many other devices just keep a log of what is going on with your body and bedroom, the Aura attempts to do something about it. The component system has an under-mattress or under-sheet monitor that keeps track of your heart rate (to a degree) and movement, so as to acquire more knowledge about your sleeping cycle and patterns. Meanwhile, the bedside piece watches sound, temperature, and lighting levels as it offers soothing noises and a series of lights that are intended to help the body rest more fully. The idea is solid and later iterations are likely to hop into the sleep tracker stratosphere, but the lava lamp light show can make your bedroom feel like The House of the Rising Sun and the monitor will cause problems if you share your bed with a spouse or a pet. While it attempts to make changes to your atmosphere and gives you reasonably good data, it doesn’t offer suggestions for improvement, leaving you with half of the advice you need. [Purchase: $300]

aXbo Couple SleepPhase Alarm Clock

aXbo Couple SleepPhase Alarm Clock

Pro: Works for couples
Con: Limited features at a huge cost

Double Duty: The majority of sleep trackers are customized to work with one person at a time and don’t even consider those people who are in creepy, clingy couples where both partners must do absolutely everything together. If you and your darling dear are joined at the hip, dress alike, and finish each other’s slam dances then you’ll want an aXbo Couple, since it’s as strange as you are. Using two wrist bands it can keep track of both people through the single device with separate alarms for each, though the only alarm options are audible, so the first one is probably going to get both of you out of bed to start your eerie Siamese twin day. Mostly it keeps track of your movement rather than also checking other physical factors, which mean it won’t necessarily be able to tell you how deep your sleep was, what your resting heart rate is, or any other physiological changes. Certainly overpriced, but the only two-person sleep monitor out there. [Purchase: $515]

Philips Actiwatch Spectrum Pro

Philips Actiwatch Spectrum Pro

Pro: Medical monitoring
Con: Expensive

Smart Start: This is a sleep tracker by way of a smart watch inspired full health tracker that is about as close as you can possibly come to a professional grade sleep study at an actual clinic where a grad student will gaze at your supine form for hours like they’re starring in a Paranomal Activity movie. The weighty price tag is due to this device being more than just keeping track of how much you sleep, but also checking everything about a person’s activity. It is generally used only for patients with known disorders or those who are undergoing drug therapies, making it a full medical-grade piece of hardware. It has a 3 month battery, a USB interface that allows data to be transferred and parsed easily, both phototopic and RGB light sensing, a reminder to put the device back on, and a subjective scoring system that tailors data to the user. Best for those with sleep apnea, health issues, the elderly, or anyone with a respiratory disorder. [Purchase: $1,600]

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