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3 Best Sleep Trackers & Apps - Pros and Cons

by Angela Maple

At a Glance:

What is Sleep Tracking?

How Does Sleep Tracking Work?

Sleep Tracking Pros & Cons

What Does Sleep Tracking Monitor?

Types of Sleep Trackers

Best Sleep Trackers by Brands

Sleep Tracking FAQs

Why Trust Us?

Some days you wake up feeling revitalized. Others make you feel as though you haven’t slept at all. What divides good nights from terrible nights isn’t always obvious, but sleep tracking can provide useful insight into your sleeping patterns. Personal sleep trackers can reveal much about the mysterious third of your life spent sleeping. They can track your sleep patterns to give you a better idea of how much quality sleep you’re getting, and you can utilize that data to improve your sleep.

While lab-based sleep tests track patterns directly through brain activity, sleep trackers rely on sensors to detect other physical signs, such as heart rate and body movement by wearable gadgets throughout the night. Other trackers may be placed on a mattress, beneath a mattress, or next to the bed to gather data invisibly. Almost all sleep trackers send this information to a device that analyzes and displays the results using an algorithm.

In this blog, we’ll look at sleep trackers and explain how sleep monitoring works and why it may help you sleep better.

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Before you start looking for sleep tracking devices and apps, here are a few things to know before you buy.

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What is Sleep Tracking?

sleep tracker

Sleep monitoring is accomplished by the use of a device that measures your sleep patterns, habits, stages, quality, and/or length. This evaluation is indirect, depending on more easily visible physical sleep signals rather than brain activity and eye movement, as certain official medical tests do.

The majority of sleep trackers monitor heart rate and respiratory rate, which are strongly related to sleep phases. Tracking respiration can also reveal potential breathing disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea. Many trackers also have a small built-in movement-detecting device known as an accelerometer to determine how much you move when sleeping, allowing you to analyze your sleep time and quality.

Some sleep trackers may use a microphone to detect snoring, movement sounds, and ambient noise to determine how well you sleep. Others include a thermometer to offer information on how the room’s temperature may affect your sleep.

There are both wearable and non-wearable sleep monitors available. While the data they gather is largely comparable, the techniques they employ to acquire it may differ. Because a wearable gadget is in contact with the body, it can more directly measure heart rate, breathing, and movement. Many non-wearable gadgets sit on or beneath the mattress and collect data by monitoring vibrations. Both devices collect useful information, as long as they are properly calibrated.

After collecting sleep data, monitoring devices often run it through an algorithm and show it in an app so users can readily examine their history, assess how well they’re sleeping, and identify areas for improvement. Based on their findings, some applications may also recommend ways to enhance sleep quality.

How Does Sleep Tracking Work?

sleeping

Most sleep trackers resemble a wristwatch and function by detecting your body movements as you sleep to calculate how much time you spend awake versus sleeping. Some gadgets also use variations in heart rate while sleeping to determine how much time you spend in each sleep cycle.

Non-wearable (or contactless sleep trackers) are devices that you put beneath your sheets, mattress, or on a nightstand next to your bed. The majority of the gadgets in this category detect movement by pressure sensors or a radio frequency that measures your respiration rate (breathing).

Sleep Tracking Pros & Cons

There are several possible benefits to utilizing a sleep tracker. Perhaps the most important is access to information about your sleep and its complexities, as well as if you have any underlying sleep conditions that affect your sleep quality. Sleep monitors, like anything else in life, have advantages and disadvantages (although, not many). Here are a few particular advantages and disadvantages of using a sleep tracker:

Pros

Cons

-         You can manage what you measure — learn your nighttime patterns and improve your sleep quality.

-         It can help establish and maintain a healthy bed routine.

-         Advanced sleep trackers can even help detect sleep disorders.

-         They can help you wake up with special alarms.

-         Sleep trackers can introduce poor sleep habits since viewing an electronic device immediately before and after bed is a huge no-no

-         Each person that uses a sleep tracker is different; the feedback can be limited since what may be ideal and optimal for one person according to certain statistics may not be right for you.

-         Sleep trackers can be inaccurate by suggesting that a user is getting more sleep than they are.

-         Sleep trackers can worsen a user’s insomnia since they focus more on getting the perfect sleep (Orthosomnia) rather than sleeping.

 

What Does Sleep Tracking Monitor?

syncing

A vast range of sleep monitors has reached the market, with more being introduced regularly. Many of these are wearable trackers that you may attach to your wrist. Others are attached to your pillow or rest on your bedside table.

These gadgets’ features vary, but some common characteristics include:

Sleep duration: Personalized sleep tracking may record when you fall asleep at night and wake up by detecting your inactivity.

Sleep quality: Trackers may identify disrupted sleep and alert you when you’re tossing and turning or waking up in the middle of the night.

Sleep phases: Some monitoring systems monitor your sleep phases and set your alarm to go off when you sleep less deeply. That should make it simpler for you to rouse.

Environmental factors: Some gadgets monitor your bedroom’s settings, such as the quantity of light or temperature.

Lifestyle factors: Some trackers urge you to enter information on things that might impact your sleep, such as how much coffee you’ve had, when you’ve eaten, and how stressed you are.

Types of Sleep Trackers

sleep tracker

When selecting a sleep tracker, there are various aspects to consider, and each type has potential benefits and downsides. The ideal sleep tracker for you will be the one that most closely matches your objectives, needs, and tastes. There are several styles available:

Watches: Smartwatches and wristbands are two types of sleep trackers with a watch-like appearance. Smartwatches often feature a broader range of functions, such as receiving notifications and alerts, checking applications, and making or receiving calls. Wristbands, like watches, fit around the wrist but may or may not include a built-in display. Fitness monitoring capabilities are common on both watches and bracelets.

Ring: Sensor technology installed inside a ring that tracks sleep captures data subtlety while you sleep. The majority of ring-style trackers may also be used to measure physical activity.

Other Sleep Tracking Devices: While watches, bracelets, and rings are the most popular types of wearable sleep monitors, there are more possibilities. These include headband and eye mask designs, some of which have advanced technologies not available in other wearables, such as brain activity or eye movement tracking.

Under Mattress: Vibrations from under-the-mattress monitoring sensors are used to infer sleep data. These are often tiny and inconspicuous, making them suitable for people who wish to track their sleep without having to wear a gadget to bed. Most under-mattress alternatives are compatible with the vast majority of mattresses on the market. However, they may not be suitable for really thick versions or waterbeds.

Smart Mattresses: Sleep tracking technology is included in some smart mattresses. Other features that may assist maximize the sleep experience on these modern beds have adjustable firmness and temperature control.

Best Sleep Trackers by Brands

Let’s review the most reliable and useful sleep tracking devices leading!

Highest Rated Sleep Tracker: Fitbit

Many Fitbit devices excel at sleep monitoring, providing some of the most dependable data from the wrist. When you track sleep on Fitbit devices, your total time sleeping and awake, as well as your sleep phases, are recorded. They also offer a sleep score ranging from 1 to 100. The Fitbit app displays sleep data cleanly and concisely, with distinct graphs for time sleeping and awake, sleep phases, and restoration. These watches also show your sleeping heart rate and predicted oxygen fluctuation. When you wake up, any of these Fitbit smartwatches are excellent activity trackers with sufficient smartwatch capabilities to keep you connected.

Why we love it:

  • Silent alarms
  • Smart wake
  • Bedtime reminders
  • Sleep insights

Best Apple Watch Sleep Tracker App: Sleep Watch

SleepWatch by Bodymatter is an all-in-one sleep tracker and digital sleep coach that millions of people use to better track and enhance their sleep. No pills, no new mattress, just an A.I.-powered software tracking your sleep, making suggestions, and personalizing your sleep experience. The app is free — however, a Premium Membership with more features is available.

Wear an Apple Watch to bed, or use the iPhone app to sleep. This app keeps a careful eye on your sleep patterns and stages. It also assigns you a score depending on your sleep quality and schedule. It also provides a growing proportion. When you wake up, you’ll get your individualized sleep report with tips on how to improve your sleep habits. With Sleep Watch’s sleep coaching program, you’ll receive daily individualized suggestions and ideas for improving sleep.

Why We love it:

  • Personalized coaching
  • In-depth sleep report
  •  Auto Sleep
  • Sleeping heart rate dip tracking

Best Free Sleep Tracker App: Pillow

Pillow is a sleep tracking app that arose from the Internet of Things. It captures, tracks, and monitors everything you do while sleeping (even snoring!). There is no need to change any settings, set alerts, or configure anything. Pillow works by just wearing your Apple Watch to sleep.

It is an excellent software for folks who are infatuated with wearables and want to keep them close at hand. Aside from sleep, the app also monitors your heart rate and records audio as you sleep. This provides you with a comprehensive understanding of your sleep pattern. A lovely visualization chart describes your habits and aids in the improvement of sleep quality.

Why we love it:

  • Auto sleep tracking
  • Smart alarm
  • Auto recordings
  • Sleep cycle analysis
  • Personalized sleep insights

Mattress Land believes everyone — especially our California, Idaho, Nevada, and Washington customers — deserves a good night’s sleep. Sleep monitoring is an excellent tool for identifying your sleep patterns and knowing how to change your sleeping habits for higher quality sleep. But a bad mattress should not be interfering with your sleep! Our innovative BedFIT technology helps you select the appropriate mattress that delivers all the support and comfort you want, whether you sleep on your stomach, back, side, or with a partner.

Sleep Tracking FAQs

We understand if you’re still unsure about using a sleep monitoring device, so we’ve enlisted the help of sleep specialists to address your sleep tracker questions.

Q: How accurate is sleep tracking?

Each sleep monitoring device is unique, and accuracy varies depending on design and technology. Sleep monitors can assist most users in increasing general well-being and better sleep health. The scientific community is divided on sleep tracker accuracy, while more advanced technology and software might offer more dependable input. It should also be mentioned that a sleep tracker is not a substitute for medical assessment.

Q: Are sleep tracking devices worth it?

Although sleep trackers capture a lot of data on your sleeping habits, they don’t directly measure your sleep, which might result in an inaccurate estimate of how much sleep you’re receiving. On the other hand, these gadgets can be quite valuable in assisting users in recognizing trends in their sleep habits and adjusting appropriately to achieve better sleep.

Q: How do I track my sleep cycle

A medical sleep study, which analyzes brain waves to assess the stages of sleep you cycle through during the night, would be required to obtain precise data on your sleeping habits. Professional sleep tests are more reliable and useful in diagnosing sleep problems such as sleep apnea.

Why Trust Mattress Land?

Since 1996, Mattress Land has been making strides in the mattress industry to provide our customers the sleep experience they need — and deserve. We do that by offering the ultimate customer experience, complete with our trained experts, BedFIT™ computerized diagnostics, and our impressive showroom. We’ll make sure that you find the right sleep solution for your sleeping habits so you can feel energized in your day-to-day life.

We are also proud of our diverse, employee-driven culture, where our teams work hard toward a common goal. We know that better sleep makes all the difference, and our commitment to changing the landscape of traditional mattress shopping is how we know Mattress Land is one of the best mattress stores around.

Shop Mattresses at Mattress Land

At Mattress Land, we provide quality name-brand mattresses for great prices. Our sleep experts are always happy to help you find learn more about sleep tracking. With locations throughout California, Idaho, Nevada, and Washington, Mattress Land is bound to have a sleep solution for everyone. We are more accessible than ever! You can call us at 800-909-9299, visit our website to shop Mattress Land sales, and check out Mattress Land reviews online. Or better yet, stop by one of our showrooms to discover why we are everyone’s favorite local mattress store. Visit us today!

Learn More: Which Sleep Position is Best for Your Health?