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We all need refreshing, healing sleep to stay healthy, happy and high on energy. But even when we eat well, exercise and keep stress to a minimum that sweet slumber still sometimes evades us. So how can we get a handle on this nocturnal problem?
The solution is to take control of those precious hours, understand them and maximize their potential with a sleep monitoring device.
Sleep Monitoring Devices: Why Buy One?
With one of these devices you will know whether you sleep enough or too much, during which hours you are sleeping soundly and when your sleep is troubled. Armed with this data steps can be taken to establish good sleep patterns despite demanding children, snoring partners and stressful days, making your nights more peaceful and giving you more spring in your morning step.
Sleep Monitoring in 2017
Sleep tech is booming right now, and with good reason. Gone are the days of hooking yourself up to clunky devices in order to get hi-tech, detailed stats on what you’re getting up to whilst you’re unconscious. Monitoring devices currently fall into three main categories; Smartphone sleep tracking apps, wearable tech such as fitness trackers, and dedicated freestanding appliances.
Smartphone apps offer cheap and simple sleep tracking, but they tend to be less effective and produce less detailed information than other methods.
Virtually all fitness trackers have a sleep tracking mode with motion sensing and REM sleep phase tracking and chart your results using user friendly graphs and tables.
‘Sleep systems’ are sleek, freestanding machines dedicated solely to the purpose of monitoring you and your sleep environment whilst you snooze. They are convenient, reliable and give you all the important info you need with the added benefit of geek chic.
The Best Sleep Monitoring Devices for 2017
Here’s our roundup of some of the best devices worth grabbing right now:
This little ball is both cute and effective. It comes with an array of ambient calming sounds to make your sleep more tranquil, a monitor to improve your quality of rest and advanced environmental sensors to demonstrate how light, sound, temperature, humidity, air quality, and more affect your rest. All this plus an alarm which triggers only when you are in the lightest part of your sleep cycle to ensure your wake-up call is gentle and precisely timed to leave you feeling revitalized.
- Very user friendly
- No need to remember to recharge as it comes equipped with a replaceable battery
- Competitively priced
- No snooze mode so no second chance if you sleep through the alarm
- Sleep analysis is not always accurate
- The ‘Sleep Pill’ part of the device can be tricky to clip onto your pillow
- Limited advice on how to improve your sleep your sleep cycle based on your stats
The Aura also comes with sound and light effects that track and improve transitions into and out of sleep, and similarly offers a ‘Smart Wake Up’ at the optimum point in your sleep cycle. Where is comes into its own is by tracking short naps with specialised programs, as well as the ability to track your sleep on your Smartphone.
- Detailed sleep analysis
- Easy to use Smartphone app
- Smart wake up feature
- Higher end of the price range with sleep sensor at additional cost
- Synching with your Smartphone can sometimes be tricky
- No long term data comparison
This wearable, waterproof fitness tracker is geared towards an active lifestyle. Elegant in appearance, the Misfit Shine 2 also tracks total hours slept by breaking the data down into light and deep sleep, plus it allows you to set sleep goals and alarms to help you get a good night’s rest.
- Sleep-cycle timed wakeup calls based your activity
- Long battery life
- Doubles up as a fitness tracker and notification device for your Smartphone
- Fewer sleep monitoring features
- Sleep tracking is not always accurate
- No screen
Zeo claims to tell you how you really sleep and help you find ways to improve your sleep. It measures your quality and quantity of sleep via a lightweight wireless headband which combines with a bedside display, SmartWake alarm, a set of analytical online tools, and an email-based personalized coaching program.
- Very detailed sleep monitoring
- Great user interface
- Battery must be recharged after each night
- Headband may not stay in place
This ‘Smartbulb’ adjusts its light according to the time of the day and combines different types of LEDs to act on the level of melatonin in the body and sweeten your sleep. Like other monitors it tracks environmental factors such as noise, temperature or brightness, and it connects to a variety of compatible fitness trackers to create in-depth analysis of your sleep patterns.
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Very relaxing lighting effects
- Sleep analysis lacks detail
- Interface sometimes has issues
The minimalist appearance of the contactless S+ conceals the wireless sensors that provide personalized feedback on your sleeping habits and bedroom environment. The sleep mode is enabled via your Smartphone and the ‘Smart Alarm’ feature can be set to wake you up at the most advantageous time each morning.
- No pads, clips, headbands or wristbands
- Detailed data and feedback to improve your sleep
- Sleep tracking is not automatic
- Must be plugged in at all times
It’s no longer only scientists in laboratories who can reveal the factors that are stealing your sleep. It’s time to take advantage of the advances in technology to improve your health, energy and stress levels and sleep like a baby. All that’s left is to decide which device is best for you. Our advice?
Just sleep on it…