Have you ever felt like you aren’t getting the recommended eight to nine hours of rest you need, but can’t quite figure out what the problem is? A sleep tracker can be a huge help.
Sleep trackers monitor everything from breathing rates to heart rates to shifts in body positioning. Then, they cull and analyze tons of big data to help you spot and rectify recurring issues preventing you from having a good night.
Related Article: Best Sleep Aids
Types of Sleep Trackers
Sleep trackers generally fall into two distinctive categories: wearables and non-wearables.
- Wearables use actigraphy to build up a litany of recorded measurements that can then be transferred into bite-sized, trackable chunks of sleep information.
- Each brand uses its own algorithm based on hour movements and activities. Thus, it may assume you’re sleeping when you’re not, which is one of the major downsides to any type of sleep tracker.
- Smart watches: Smartwatches tend to be the most frequently advertised types of sleep trackers. Worn on your wrist, they have proven to be more than 80 percent accurate in lab testing.
- Strips that you place under your coil spring or memory foam mattress: These strips sense your movement through the mattress, registering your body motions as you roll over or remain immobile. Some also measure breathing patterns as well as snoring behavior (including sleep apnea related snoring.)
- Monitors: Monitors sit on your nightstand or other nearby furniture and require no contact with you or your bed to work. As such, they’re perfect for people who want non-invasive sleep tracking devices. Each night, the monitor sends information to a cloud-based system which you can access via the manufacturer’s app.
- Voice sleep systems: Voice sleep systems take monitors one step further by enabling you to enjoy an artificial intelligence (AI) interface with the device. Instead of reading about your sleeping habits, you can simply ask for results and recommendations to improve your rest.
Related Article: 5 Best Sleep Apps
Best Wearable Sleep Trackers
Although you’ve probably heard the brand name Fitbit for a long time, you might not realize that its athletic and fitness trackers can also be excellent wearable sleep tracking devices. The Fitbit Ionic may be one of the more expensive wearables on the market, but it’s also highly rated.
When used for sleep tracking, the Fitbit Ionic measures pulse and heart rate. As the system gets to know your particular health rhythms, it adjusts recommendations on everything from when to workout to when to go to bed. Consider it your full-service body composition and sleep habit assistant.
Buy on Amazon: Fitbit Ionic
Fitbit Alta HR
The Fitbit Alta HR is a slight step down from the Fitbit Ionic based on its gadgetry. Still, it also measures heart rate and pulse to provide sleeping data feedback.
The Fitbit Alta HR’s interface is simple to use and understand, which is a boon if you’re not a techie who can automatically identify sleep patterns among a slew of data points.
The longer you use your Fitbit Alta HR, the more customized and useful its information will become thanks to its learning program.
Buy on Amazon: Fitbit Alta HR
Nokia Steel HR
If you’re interested in getting a wearable that does much more than track sleep, but has all the sleep tracking qualities you need, you’ll appreciate the Nokia Steel HR.
Billed as a hybrid between old-school and high-tech watches, its battery life and trustworthy activity and sleep tracking solutions make it a good bet.
With basic data insights that will keep you learning more about your sleep habits, it’s a winner.
Buy on Amazon: Nokia Steel HR
Best Non-Wearable Sleep Trackers
Best Sleep Strip: Beautyrest Sleeptracker Monitor
Manufactured by mattress giant Beautyrest, the Beautyrest Sleeptracker Monitor takes the strip idea to the next level of inventiveness by offering the ability to track two sleepers at once. Consequently, you and your sleeping partner can both benefit without having to purchase two trackers.
Over time, this Alexa-enabled tracker sends personalized sleep information to a standalone device. From that point, essential data points are extracted and sent to you through a smartphone app.
Consider it your sleep coach since it intuitively suggests the perfect waking time based on accumulated heart and breathing rates, as well as movement.
Buy on Amazon: Beautyrest Sleeptracker Monitor
Best Sleep Monitor: Emfit QS
If you don’t mind a pricier non-wearable solution, try the Emfit QS sleep monitor. It measures your vital signs while you’re in bed, determining when you fall asleep and how long you stay at rest.
The biggest differentiator between the Emfit QS and other bedside sleep monitors is that it offers an abundance of data points. For someone who prefers to be inundated with input, it’s a great solution.
Not only can you self-measure, but you can use its own recommendations for a one-two better sleep punch!
Buy on Amazon: Emfit QS
Eight Sleep Tracker
The Eight Sleep Tracker takes turning your bed into a technological “smart zone” one step further.
In addition to offering a monitor that responds to your movements and other sleeping activities, you get temperature-controlling sheets that cover the mattress.
Each morning, the Eight Sleep Tracker delivers new data to you through a cloud-based portal. Over time, you can use this information to discover better ways of sleeping.
Interested in smart products like Alexa? The Eight Sleep Tracker can sync up for even simpler ways of making your bedtime routine a breeze.
Buy on Amazon: Eight Sleep Tracker
It’s Time to Track Your Sleep
Unless you’re one of the lucky people who wakes recharged and ready to attack the day every morning, you owe it to yourself to consider the innate value of trusting a sleep tracker. After all, what price could you put on being able to honestly feel refreshed when the alarm goes off rather than wanting to hurl it against the wall?
Related Article: 7 Tips to Get You Sleeping Again
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