How The Apple Watch Tracks Sleep
It’s rare that Apple lags far behind other brands, but Apple didn’t have its own sleep app until recently: you had to use a third-party app, such as Pillow.;
As of watchOS 7, however, you can track your sleep through Apple’s built-in Sleep app. Watch OS 7 works with the Apple Watch Series 3, 4 and 5, as well as the new Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE. If you own one of the earlier versions, make sure your OS is updated. WatchOS 7 isn’t compatible with the Series 1 or 2, though.;
Once you’ve set up sleep-tracking on your Apple Watch, the Sleep app can detect when and how you’re sleeping, based on your movement and your heart rate. You can use it to set sleep schedules and goals and request a wakeup alarm. You can also set a wind-down time, meaning the watch will go into Sleep Mode for a period in advance of you going to sleep.;
To our own surprise, we weren’t hugely impressed by the Apple Sleep app. It’s crammed with information, but, aside from the heart rate information, not much of it is all that useful. We’ve tried many other watches that are easier to use for sleep-tracking while also providing for information. You won’t get information on sleep phases either although, as we explained, such data shouldn’t be taken too literally anyway.
If you were using Pillow before, you can continue to do so, if you prefer.;
What Are Fitness Trackers
Fitness or activity trackers are wearable smart gadgets that are typically fashioned as bracelets. Similar to pedometers, these devices count the steps you take every day. But they can also measure other data points such as your heart rate, weight loss, distance traveled and sleep patterns. Fitness trackers then sync up to your smartphone via Bluetooth, giving you access to all this information via their associated app.
While they often share features with smart watches, activity trackers stand apart in the amount of fitness-focused data they collect. Smart watches often have a few activity-focused features, but fitness trackers typically collect more in-depth information.
Types Of Sleep Trackers
While sleep trackers come with a wide variety of designs and features, they can typically be classified into one of two categories: wearable and non-wearable. We dive into the different varieties of wearable and non-wearable sleep trackers below:
Wearable Sleep Trackers
As noted above, wearable devices typically also serve as fitness trackers. Wearable devices are most commonly worn around the wrist as wristwatches or wristbands, but may also be worn as rings and other accessories on the body.
Non Wearable Sleep Trackers
Also called no-contact sleep trackers, non-wearable trackers are placed under mattresses, on bedding, or built into the actual mattress itself rather than worn on the body. You may prefer a non-wearable sleep tracker if you tend to find wearable technology obtrusive.
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How Does Your Smartwatch Know Youre Asleep
Have you ever wondered how your fitness tracker measures your sleep? Or more importantly, if the data it records is reliable?;Whether you own a Fitbit, smartwatch, Garmin or one of the countless other fitness devices on the market, they all work in much the same way.
If you have a sleep disorder or if your sleep is disrupted on a regular basis, wearing a fitness tracker is not going to be a reliable indicator of your sleep health.;The best option is to have an in-home sleep study to get a reliable and accurate reading.
How Do Sleep Trackers Actually Work
If you want to improve your sleep, it’s a good idea to know your starting point. Determining how often you’re waking up at night or if you’re entering the deep sleep stages your body needs, is important information to have in the beginning so you can start making improvements. Buthow can you track your sleep while you’re, well, out cold?
Enter sleep trackers. They come in several forms, from wearable smart watches, to headbands that provide biofeedback, rings you slip on a finger, a device you slip under your sheet, or apps that use motion detection and microphones to detect when you’re in the different stages of sleep.
With so many sleep trackers popularized these days, you might be wondering;how;they track your sleep. Although the technology behind these devices is more complicated than we’ll get into today, there are several ways these devices track your sleep.
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How Do Fitness Trackers Track Sleep The Science Behind It All
For a few decades we have marveled at the ability of our fitness trackers to record and analyze our every move. They cheer us on when we reach our fitness goals and remind us when we need to get moving. Recently these small devices have done even more to improve our health. They now tell us how we are sleeping. When you wake up in the morning, you can now check the app that is tied to your fitness tracker to see how well you slept. So the question is, how do fitness trackers track sleep? Read on to find out.
Heart Rate And Respiration
Some sleep trackers estimate REM sleep in addition to deep and light sleep stages by measuring heart rate. Although heart rate and respiration rates are known to vary greatly during sleep, they have a close relationship with each sleep stage since the autonomic nervous system significantly affects both. Respiration is considered the most important parameter of physiological data because it clearly indicates sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea according to research published in the journal,;Sensors.
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Best Cheap Fitness Trackers For Sleep
LetsFit Smart Watch Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate Monitor: available at
With its ability to measure steps, calories, and sleep quality, this can be an inexpensive alternative to measuring your sleep quality. It has its own Letsfit app to sync the device to.
HuaWise Fitness Tracker: available at ;
This light and easy-to-use device measures your heart rate automatically and offers a comprehensive analysis of sleep quality weekly. There are also options in color and screen size available.
YAMAY Smart Watch Fitness Tracker: available at ;
This smartwatch monitors and analyzes your sleep quality, and then sends the data to the VeryFitPro app. Its vibrating alarm clock and deep-breathing training can help you wake up and fall asleep.
Blackview Smart Watch Activity Tracker: available at ;
Available in different colors, this tracker has advanced heart-rate sensing for automatic measurements. Wearing this watch at night can give you a comprehensive idea of how well and how much you sleep.
Mgaolo Fitness Tracker: available at
Thin and sleek, this device is a great option for users who want a simple way to measure their sleep and heart rate. It comes in five different colors.
What To Consider When Purchasing A Sleep Tracker
Well break down some of the top things to look for when purchasing a sleep tracker. While all of these factors matter to a certain extent, some may not be high priorities for you. Assessing what you want in a tracker can help you hone in on the most important aspects.
Sleep Tracking: Sleep trackers capture an array of data that may include heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration, snoring, time awake, time sleeping, sleep interruptions, and body temperature. Some may also monitor room temperature, humidity, noise level, and light. Since trackers vary in what sleep-related factors they detect, shoppers should pay attention to the specific product details to find an option that collects the information that interests them most.
Sleep Analytics: Sleep analytics use the data from sleep tracking to delve more deeply into sleep quality and patterns. They may provide detailed charts to show you how your sleep has changed over time, overlay multiple sets of data to show you how different factors are linked, and provide you with a daily sleep score. Wearable trackers can also link your daily activity levels to the quality and duration of your sleep.
Other Features: Sleep trackers often come with additional features, like fitness tracking, GPS, coaching, and integrations with other apps. These components may make your device more versatile, insightful, or convenient, but they can also increase the price-point.
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How To Sleep Better
Common tips to help you sleep better include avoiding caffeine, your mobile phone or laptop and heavy meals before bed. If you’re still struggling to drift off despite that, though, here are some other ideas to try out.
Yoga can be a great way to relax and wind down. Read our guide onhow to set up a home yoga studioto get started.
Enjoy Sports Enjoy Life
- AITES V101 fitness trackers will track your movement 24/7, recording your steps, distance, and calories.
- The smart watch comes with 6 kinds of sports, including: outdoor running, outdoor cycling, outdoor walking, indoor running, free training, and flat support. Unique data allows you to better understand your exercise.
- Get moving with V101 and stay healthy!
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Best Standalone Sleep Tracker
Not everyone wants to wear a fitness watch or fitness bandespecially to bed. If youd rather de-gadget yourself at bedtime, perhaps youd rather try the Withings Sleep, a pad that slips under your mattress and doesnt require you to wear anything for it to do its magic.
The pad has sensors that can detect heart rate, snoring and sleep cycles, so it can graphically show you your light, heavy and REM sleep cycles, as well as note when you wake and are disturbed during the night. All the results are sent to the Withings app on your phone. Its also compatible with the IFTTT automation app, so you can configure it to automatically turn off the bedroom light when you climb into bed or change the thermostat when you wake.
Web Apps For Mobile Or Desktop
If you dont want to wear a wrist device, you can also download a sleep app on your smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop computer.
Different sleep apps have different features. For example, with Cleveland Clinics Go! to Sleep app, you input sleep data to get your sleep score, then get tips and encouragement.
Many good apps are free or relatively inexpensive; reading product reviews can be helpful.
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How A Fitness Tracker Can Help You Get A Better Nights Sleep
Good quality rest is as important as good quality exercise, and a great fitness tracker will help you get both. Find out how
19 Mar 2021
Do you find that once youre in bed, it takes a while to drift off to sleep? Or, once youre asleep, do you frequently toss and turn?
If youre not sure, but youre still tired when you wake up, some fitness trackers and smartwatches can give you useful insights into your sleep quality. With this data, you can make little adjustments to your sleep routine so that you wake up refreshed, and ready for what the day throws at you. ;
If You Are Not Sleeping Well Get Help
Many people use sleep trackers because they are not sleeping well. They are hopeful that they may learn a little bit about why they are having difficulty sleeping. If insomnia persists, this search can become desperate. Although some insight may be gleaned, more evaluation may be necessary. If you have poor sleep, especially if you have trouble sleeping through the night with frequent awakenings or experience daytime sleepiness, get evaluated by a board-certified sleep physician to sort out what might be contributing to your troubles. Wearables may identify a problem, but they cannot typically provide the solution.
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Withings Scanwatch: The Best Sleep Tracker For Sleep Apnea Detection
The Withings ScanWatch is the most detailed and accurate sleep tracker weve used. On top of recording your sleep duration, depth, regularity, and interruptions, it uses its medical-grade SpO2 monitor to detect breathing disturbances overnight. Breathing disturbances are detected when the ScanWatch performs a Respiratory Scan, which measures your heart rate,;heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation levels.
One downside to the ScanWatchs sleep tracking is that it does not monitor your REM sleep stage. Withings said its keeping that functionality exclusive to its sleep mat .
- Small display limits smart features
- Few advanced fitness features or insights
Check out our full review to learn more about the Withings ScanWatch.
Add In The Algorithms
As you might already know, its difficult to get two fitness trackers to agree on how much activity youve got through in a day or what your heart rate actually is. Thats because the sensors inside each device arent perfect at measuring what youre doing they all use slightly different algorithms to translate the raw data into actual statistics.
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For example, your tracker might dismiss a small movement of the wrist and not include it as a step. But how small is too small? Different devices will have different thresholds and thus bring back different readings. Anything from a bumpy car ride to a plush carpet can throw off the accuracy of your fitness tracker.
When it comes to calories, an app needs more than just a step count to make the calculation: thats why youll often be asked for your age, gender, height and weight too. The algorithms used by each manufacturer arent made publicly available, as each one likes to keep a lid on the secret sauce they use to get the best and most accurate results, but the more sensors and data points used the more accurate the results are likely to be.
To really tell how many calories youre burning, for example, a tracker needs to add data about your heart rate and how much youre perspiring into the algorithm alongside how many steps youre taking.
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Best Fitness And Activity Tracker For Sleep Monitoring In 2021
Fitness tracker for sleep monitors your sleeping patterns and everything ranging from your heart rate to your breathing patterns, to ensure that you not only stay fit but also sleep well.Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to fitness trackers that monitor sleep.Some prefer a smartwatch, others prefer a light fitness band, some want different types of alarms. The following are some of the best fitness tracking devices the market has to offer!
a solution for people who dont want to wear anything while sleeping
The first 4 items on the list are popular trackers that come with a very accurate Oximeter or SpO2 sensor, an Oximeter is tremendously helpful in detecting the quality of the sleep and sleep problems like sleep apnea by reading the oxygen saturation level in the blood.
If you really suffer from a sleeping disorder or in need of a really accurate sleep tracker, I recommend reading my new article on the best smartwatches with an Oximeter in 2021. you can read more about it, what the researches have found and how do sleep tracking devices and apps work in this related article.
The last 7 devices in the list do not come with an Oximeter, however, they have been reported by lots of users as a pretty accurate sleep tracking monitors.
Dont Sweat The Details
There is evidence that data collected by sleep trackers can stress people out . It can add to anxiety and make insomnia worse. People become obsessed with the details, trying to explain every little blip in the data. If you find this is leading to obsessive behaviors for you, this could be a problem. Let it go. It may not be accurate anyway.
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Will Tracking Make You Anxious
There is one caveat: If you tend to be anxious, tracking your sleep may not be helpful, cautions Dr. Lance.
Some people can become obsessed with their device, checking their data constantly and worrying about whether its normal to awaken during the night.
But we all awaken at night, she says. The question is, do we fall back asleep OK, and can we function OK the next day?
Wanting to track your biometric data, however, is generally a good thing, Dr. Lance believes. It means youre more likely to follow doctors orders and do what it takes to maximize your well-being.
Consumer sleep technologies offer a wonderful, relatively inexpensive way to become more engaged in your overall health, she says.
Smart Mattresses And Bed Sensors
Why buy a mattress pad when you can be smart from the get-go? There are a few smart mattresses available that have built-in technology to track your sleep.
Eight Sleep is one of the more prominent companies in this domain, too. Its mattress, called the Pod Pro, retails for more than $3,000. It captures metrics such as sleep stages, sleep time, and tossing and turningand it features its own water-based, fully integrated cooling system. I ran into the same issue getting details on this mattress as I did with its cover: Customer service refused to elaborate on the technology, though the product description mentions it looks at respiratory rate, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability.
Eight Sleeps data processing also raises more privacy concerns than some of the other trackers featured in this article. According to a representative, the product is managed via Wi-Fi and app connection, and transmits data on your sleep to a warehouse for analysis.
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