Sleep Monitoring is a phenomena that has taken off over the last few years as recent sleep research has given us a new understanding of what constitutes a good night’s sleep. Increasingly sensitive accelerometers are already ubiquitous in our smart phones. It only took a few smart app developers to get the concept of actigraphy from the lab out into the real world.
Sleep Trackers have been around as Android and iPhone apps for a good while now, and their effectiveness is testament to the recent creation of dedicated devices to monitor sleep, providing information on sleep cycles, using the information to measure our sleep quality, learn when a good night’s sleep goes bad, and even wake us up in our lightest sleeping phase.
Often I’ve woken up bright, fresh and early on a weekend only to lie in for an extra hour then feel zonked for a few hours once I’m up. If you have ever woken up bleary eyed and not quite with it then you will know how useful a sleep tracker could be.
Sleep Tracking (Actigraphy) has been actively used in sleep-related studies since the early 1990s and offers reliable results with an accuracy that is close to those of laboratory sleep tests. In the lab it can be used to clinically evaluate assessing daytime sleepiness, insomnia, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, excessive sleepiness and restless legs syndrome.
There are various devices available for this which we’ll be adding to on our blog as they evolve. Here are a few examples:
Sleep Tracker Pro – (£87) a dedicated sleep monitoring watch
Fitbit Ultra – (£77) A Fitness Tracker with sleep monitoring capabilities
Zeo – (£199) Expensive but very accurate and measures more than just movement
Sleep Cycle – (99p) One of the many iPhone apps available definitely worth a go before spending much more.
Sleep as Android – (£1.69) An Android sleep tracker that I’ll be testing soon.