The Best Sleep Trackers
Jan 4th, 2021 •
Have you ever wondered what your body is up to while your knocked out at night? You don’t have to be merely curious anymore if you use a sleep tracker. Sleep trackers monitor your sleep habits, stages, and cycles, and feed you accurate data night after night. If you want to start monitoring your sleep, check out our list of the best sleep trackers.
The truth is that it’s awfully hard to meet your other diet, fitness, and life goals if you’re not getting enough sleep or if the sleep you get is poor quality. That’s why we’ve brought you the best sleep trackers, so the amount of sleep you’re getting is logged automatically. The trackers listed here also evaluate the quality of your sleep and offer other features. In fact, many of them also provide fitness tracking, which means that once you’ve gotten your sleep patterns on track, you can concentrate on other wellness goals too. Read on to find out which sleep tracker is best for you.
Our Picks for the Best Sleep Trackers
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Best Wearable: Fitbit Versa
If you want a wearable device with all of the bells and whistles, the Fitbit Versa is where you should be looking. This wearable wristwatch not only tracks your sleep, but it works to track your activity all day long. And with a battery life of 4+ days, it has the power to do so.
You get a little wrist coach: it gives you on-screen workouts with run or swim exercise modes (did we mention that it’s water-resistant) and a sleep coach that tells you when you should sleep and when you should get up.
Not only does it track your sleep stages, but if you’re a female, your time of the month as well. Yep, the FitBit Versa lets you track your cycle, symptoms, and more. It also connects to your phone, so you can listen to music, check sports scores, look at the weather, call, and text.
- Price: $179.99
- Size: One Size
Best Non-Wearable: Beautyrest Sleep Tracker
Now, if you loved the bells and whistles of the Fitbit, but aren’t too keen on having something attached to you 24/7, give the Beautyrest Sleep Tracker a try. This tracker turns your bed into a smart bed by placing it under your mattress. And it doesn’t matter what your mattress type, boxspring, or bedding is.
The tracker works as a respiratory and heart rate monitor that also tracks your personal sleep behaviors by looking at your movements and wakefulness. This tracker is so smart that it can do this for two sleepers individually, so both you and your partner get data.
Not smart enough for you? The Beautyrest is the only sleep monitoring device that is Alexa enabled, seamlessly fitting into your smart home. It also has a sleep cycle alarm that detects when your optimal wake time would be.
- Price: $169.94
- Rating and Reviews: 3.9 out of 5 stars, 111 reviews
Best Value: Nokia Steel
Not all quality sleep trackers are $100+. For value 24/7 sleep tracking technology, check out the Nokia Steel wristwatch. This tracker analyzes your sleep cycle and knows when your optimal wake time should be. It features a silent alarm that vibrates to gently rouse you from sleep.
Not only does this watch track sleep, but it tracks fitness as well. The Nokia recognizes over 10 physical activities including walking, running, and swimming. It tells you both the distance you traveled doing these activities and the calories you burned as well.
The Nokia has an impressive battery life of up to 8 months, so you rarely have to take it off to charge it. There is also a compatible app where you can see trends and data graphed out.
- Price: $79
- Rating and Reviews: 3.6 out of 5 stars, 352 reviews
Types of Trackers
Sleep trackers collect data and track your sleep two different ways: wearable devices that are directly attached to you all day and non-wearable devices that stay with your bed or are built into smartphone apps.
Wearable sleep trackers come in the form of wristwatches, rings, or wristbands. They use actigraphy to collect your sleep data through movement, most often, heart rate. Heart rate changes as you sleep are indicative of the different stages of your sleep cycle. It also helps calculate sleep time.
Because of this method, these type of sleep trackers also allow you to track your fitness as well—two birds, one stone. Many wearable trackers connect to your smartphone, so the data is easily readable. Not only this, but some of the wearable watches can make calls, texts, or play music.
Non-wearable sleep trackers are only around you at night. Many of them go under your pillows, mattress, or bedding. These measure biometrics such as movement, heart rate, and breath. Unlike wearable trackers, they have very little to do with fitness, but you don’t have to carry them around with you all day.
Smartphone apps can also work as non-wearable sleep trackers. Smartphone sleep trackers rely on self-entry to track your sleep habits, or they work by sitting on your nightstand and listening to you throughout the night. These sleep tracking apps usually have a smart alarm that recognizes when you should wake up, or sleep aids such as music that make you fall asleep easier.
Are They Accurate?
Before investing in a sleep monitor, you probably want to know if they’re accurate before you bother. Overwhelmingly, scientists agree that good sleep trackers accurately collect your data, track your sleep cycles, and all of the other numbers associated with this collection.
The issue is, now that you have this information, what are you going to do with it? Will it actually improve your sleep? That, scientists are less sure of. But what these sleep trackers are good at is helping you establish a routine based on your natural sleep pattern.
What to Consider When Buying a Sleep Tracker
Buying a sleep tracker is an investment to starting a better sleep habits; here is what to consider when searching for the best one for you.
Deciding between a wearable and a non-wearable requires looking at the pros and cons.
|Tracks more than sleep: Track your fitness, steps taken, or even the sports score with a smart wearable watch.||Have to wear them all day and night: In order for a wearable to track you 24/7, you have to wear them 24/7. A bummer if you want your skin to breathe or if you’re not a fan of wrist tans.|
|Easily connects to your smartphone: Many wearables allow you to stay plugged in even when you’re away from your phone.||Must take it off to charge: Contradictory to the previous con, you also have to take it off at some point to charge the battery. When you do this, it could disrupt your data or sleep score.|
|Small and portable: Wearables, by definition, have to be on you all of the time. So, companies have come up with cute, stylish, and convenient ways to make this possible through rings, bracelets, and watches.||Can get expensive: Wearables come with so many cool extras wrapped in a tiny package. This technology isn’t cheap. On average, a good wearable sleep tracker will run you about $100.|
|Only have to worry about it at night: Unlike wearables, non-wearable sleep trackers are only worried about what you do when you’re in the bed. Thoughts of tan lines or losing small technology don’t even have to plague your mind.||Complicated setup: Unlike fastening a watch or slipping on a ring, many non-wearables go under your mattress, meaning you have to lift up your entire mattress to situate it under.|
|More Affordable: Non-wearables don’t have the sleep-tracking fitness extras, so are usually cheaper than wearables.||Doesn’t track fitness: If you are a fitness fiend, it probably makes you a little sad that non-wearables don’t have the activity tracking extras.|
|Often comes with gentle smart alarms: These smart alarms vibrate your bed to gently wake you up, rather than blaring an obnoxious repeated sound.||Must stay plugged in all night: While wearables only need a charge here or there, non-wearables have to stay plugged in for as long as you’re using them. That is a high energy bill.|
If you want a sleep tracker with all of the extra bells and whistles, chances are wearable trackers are going to be what you aim for. Some of these special features include:
- Fitness Trackers: See how far you ran, walked, and swam with a fitness tracker, as well as time spent doing it and calories burned.
- Phone Sync: Some apps allow you to call, text, play music, and look at the weather via wearable.
- GPS: Really good wearables, such as the Fitbit Charge, have a GPS feature, so you never get lost as long as it’s on your wrist.
- Smart Alarms: Paired with superior sleep-tracking technology, these trackers know when you should wake up. Some come with automatic alarms that wake you at your optimal wake time.
Sleep trackers range from being $40-$300, but this is one of those purchases that you’re going to want to splurge on for the most accurate sleep data.
No one knows how products work in real life better than those who have previously purchased them. Amazon has thousands of rating and reviews from customers who have bought the sleep tracker you are eyeing. See if their realities match up with your expectations.
Benefits of Using a Sleep Tracker
You could try to log your sleep patterns manually, but digital sleep trackers have a few advantages that you just can’t get without them.
- Automatic tracking means you get data without having to think about it; it’s effortless.
- You get sleep quality info that you otherwise may not have access to, such as whether you are tossing and turning in your sleep.
- Find out whether you’re waking up a lot during the night.
- Easily track sleep and wake patterns so you can make a plan to alter your habits for better sleep.
- Enjoy peace of mind because you’re not worrying about tracking your sleep manually and calculating how much sleep you’re getting, which can actually prevent you from falling asleep
- For those who are just beginning to suspect sleep issues and don’t have major health problems, sleep trackers are beneficial and less expensive than getting polysomnography studies performed at a sleep clinic.
- Ease of tracking makes it more likely that you will stick with your sleep and health goals.
Sleep tracking allows you to see how your body works and repairs as you are unconscious by checking your heart rate, sleep stages, and breathing rates. Whether you want to wear the tracker all day and get fitness info as well, or only collect night data by using a non-wearable is up to you. But using a sleep tracker is a wonderful step to better understand, and implement, your sleep habits.
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