Sleep tracking can be a valuable tool, but there are limitations on what it can do. The jury is out on how valid sleep trackers are.
It would help if you didn’t treat your outcomes as an official diagnosis for sleeping disorders since any regulatory body does not clear these devices.
Getting good sleep is the best thing you can do for your health. And yet we live in the era of Netflix binges, a never-ending scroll of TikToks, and a late-night video gaming race. But if you’re determined to create better sleeping habits, you can still try tracking your sleep.
It would help if you viewed these devices to learn about your sleep habits to help enhance your sleep hygiene. If you consider being prone to orthosomnia or a preoccupation with getting “perfect” sleep, you may want to steer clear. With that in mind, here’s how to select the best sleep tracking method.
TYPES OF SLEEP TRACKERS
You can diverge sleep trackers into two categories: wearable and non-wearable.
Wearable sleep trackers are mostly fitness trackers and smartwatches that also track sleep. These include Apple Watches, Fitbits, Garmins, etc.
But there are more niche wearable sleep trackers that you don’t sport on the wrist, like the Oura Ring. Instead, the Muse S and Kokoon Nightbuds are devices that are modeled on your head.
The Oura Ring may be a more relaxed sleep tracker for people who don’t like wearing watches to sleep.
Non-wearable sleep trackers include smartphone apps, intelligent mattress pads, bedside monitors, and intelligent beds. A few examples are the Google Nest Hub, the Withings Sleep, and the Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed.
The primary thing is whether you’ll feel comfortable wearing something while sleeping. While some individuals have no problem wearing a timepiece to bed, others can’t stand it.
Unfortunately, the sleep tracker you pull off at night isn’t any assistance. The more reasonable bet is something like the Oura Ring or a non-wearable tracker. Try sleeping with a standard watch for a few days to see how it feels if you’re unsure.
WEARABLE SLEEP TRACKERS
These are the sleep trackers you’re probably most acquainted with. These are good choices for people who want to look at sleep as a part of their overall health. There’s a broad range of prices, with wearable sleep trackers ranging from $50 to $1,000.
It should help narrow down your choices quite a bit. For instance, if you want a dedicated sleep tracker that gives exceptionally detailed information and can endure multiple days on a single charge, the Oura Ring and Whoop 4.0 accommodate the bill.
Most smartwatches and fitness trackers track sleep in some capacity. However, your mileage will change. The Apple Watch, for example, introduced native sleep tracking with watchOS 7, but it was pretty bare-bones.
While it allows you quickly see how long you slept, there’s no information about sleep settings or how well you healed during the night. Also, with an evaluated 18 hours of battery life, it’s not the best for people who fail to charge their devices.
Fitbit delivers a lot more granularity and a holistic glance at how your sleep impacts the rest of your health. For example, you can see sleep stages and how your sleep habits compare to other people in your demographic and receive a sleep score.
Fitbit Premium subscribers can also earn a Daily Readiness Score, which estimates your sleep and other metrics to determine how much activity you should get that day. Fitbit’s also get around five to seven days of battery life.