While you sometimes only need to look in the mirror to tell if you’re sleep deprived, what actually goes on from the moment your head hits the pillow the point where your alarm goes off, can actually be a bit of a mystery.
That’s where personal sleep trackers come in. These gadgets and apps are a great way to track some useful information about your sleep quality and help you go some way to improving it.
There are certainly a lot of them on the market, so we’re going to take a look at a few, the features which they offer and how much they cost.
What sets the S+ apart is that it claims to be the world’s first non-contact sleep tracking system.
So while others are either worn on the wrist or placed on the mattress, the S+ can happily just sit on a bedside table.
So how does it work? It uses state of the art sonar technology to monitor your movements and breathing.
It also gathers information such as the light, noise and temperature within your bedroom and asks you to input other things such as your daily alcohol and caffeine intake and even stress levels, so it really does have a wealth of information to calculate your sleep quality from.
The Reston, from Sleepace, is solely designed to track sleep, and it makes use of special medical grade sensors to do so.
Instead of being worn around the wrist or chest, the Reston sits underneath your sheet or mattress protector if you have one, with the sensor itself neatly clipping onto the sheets using magnets, meaning it’s safely out of the way.
It provides good, accurate data, but one possible issue you could find with this type of tracker is if you sleep with a partner and they roll towards your side of the bed, it could affect the results.
Fitbits are very popular, and are mainly used for tracking things such as heartbeat when exercising, but of course, they can also be useful for tracking your sleep.
The Surge is their higher-end model, and is packed full of extra features. For example, it has a touchscreen, giving you more control over your phone, and it also includes a constant heart rate monitor and GPS tracking.
While it’s great as an all-round sports watch which includes sleep tracking as one of its features, bear in mind that it isn’t its sole purpose!
If you’re after a slightly cheaper variation on the Fitbit, and one that is a good blend of a sleep tracker, activity monitor and smart watch, look no further than the Fitbit Charge HR.
With a decently sized touchscreen and nice steel edges, it certainly looks the part, and its provides accurate sleep tracking, although it can’t show you the different stages of your sleep.
Finally, for a middle of the road Fitbit option, check out the Blaze. It’s certainly the option which is closest to a smartwatch, but still has a strong focus on sleep and activity tracking.
Using its constant heart monitor and a range of other movement sensors it provides accurate and simple sleep tracking, showing how much sleep you got, how restless you were and also giving you some goals to help improve upon.
Beddit - £126.00
The Beddit tracker consists of a simple strip which lies underneath the bed sheet and comes with a companion app for your smartphone.
It tracks a range of different things such as heart rate breathing, snoring and the amount of time you’re spending in a light or deep sleep.
While it may not look as flashy as some other trackers, the Jawbone UP3 is a very sophisticated sleep tracker and considered one of the best on the market.
Jawbone claim that the device builds up the perfect picture of your sleep using a wide range of sensors which track things such as heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature and galvanic skin response.
It’s particularly good for tracking whether you’re in a light or deep stage of sleep.
While it’s quite a chunky bedside accessory, the Aura Smart Sleep System from Withings has a great range of features.
In addition to monitoring your sleep quality, it has a sound and light system designed to help you drift off at night and gently wake up in the morning.
In addition to the bedside unit, it comes with a strap to monitor your movement and an app to get the results, so it’s really an ‘all in one’ solution.
The wonderfully simple tracker from Misfit doesn’t have a display and is very small and discreet (no bigger than a 5p piece) and is simply worn on the wrist.
It tracks all of the usual things such as REM cycles, time spent asleep and it knows when you fall asleep for the night.
It syncs with any iOS or Android device and comes in a number of different colours.
Of course, if you’re not willing to spend big money on a sleep tracker you could always start off with this free app to do the basics.
With the app downloaded you simply sit your phone at the corner of your bed and it will track all of your basic sleep data.
While it lacks the depth of other trackers, considering it’s free, it’s definitely worth a try and it also has a smart alarm which wakes you at the lightest part of your sleep cycle.
Sleep trackers are a great way to get an idea of how well you’re sleeping at night, and most of them double up as fitness and activity trackers, so they can be a great investment.
Hopefully, this post has helped you get an idea of some of the main options available to you, and for further sleep tips and news, be sure to keep checking our Sleepy People blog.