Sleep and fitness trackers have become more popular as individuals have become more interested in getting a better night’s rest so that they can have an active day. For individuals looking to increase their activity, high-quality sleep tracker can be a valuable tool. It’s ideal for finding out how well they are resting. Sleep trackers also provide useful data about sleeping habits. Today, we will discuss the best sleep trackers you can test and try for a better, healthier life.
What Is A Sleep Tracker?
Sleep trackers – like the fitness trackers we discussed on previous occasions – are small electronic devices that can track patterns in your sleep. They also provide feedback and information on your sleep habits. These electronic devices come in several different forms. And many of them are also activity trackers.
Activity trackers and fitness trackers have increased in popularity over the last years. This is largely due to individuals becoming more concerned with their activity levels, and more interested in data about their movements during the day.
There is some argument about how accurate different fitness trackers and sleep trackers are when compared to scientific equipment. It is a similar debate with the one concerning the accuracy of blood pressure cuffs and monitors. Technology, nonetheless, evolved enough to provide us with reliable measurements.
For this reason, many people find helpful the information they receive from their sleep trackers. The accuracy of sleep trackers can change based on different variables. But their accuracy is continually improving.
Sleep trackers are small, unobtrusive objects and may even look like bracelets or watches to better blend in. Many of these devices that also work as activity trackers are available in different colors and textures to better blend in with everyday clothing.
If you are curious about your sleep habits, or interested in data regarding your sleep, using a sleep tracker may provide all of the data that you need. Many of the devices come with accompanying apps or online accounts that allow you to see your data as part of easy to read visuals.
Sleep trackers also have long battery lives since they are designed to be on for the entire night and recording data. They don’t use much power. And unlike a cellphone, they may not need charging more than every few days. How often you need to charge them will largely depend on the device, and how you use it.
How Do Sleep Trackers Work?
People often wear sleep trackers on the body. And they function by tracking movements while you sleep.
- For example, a sleep tracker worn on the wrist will record when you move in your sleep throughout the night.
- It then records that information as the time that you are asleep, or awake.
Recent devices have much more accurate internal components. And the accelerometer is an essential component of a device that measures sleep. The accelerometer can track even fine movements while you are sleeping and record smaller changes in more detail.
The internal components are primarily responsible for how accurate a sleep tracking device is. But there will always be other variables that come into play. For example, a movement does not always mean that you are wide awake, but it can say that you are not in your deepest sleep.
Sleep clinicians have used a similar method to sleep tracking devices for over thirty years. For the most part, sleep trackers are smaller versions of equipment you may find in sleep labs. However, there is one fundamental difference to consider. That is that the trackers have limitations and may not be as sensitive as scientific equipment.
The trade-off for this lack of sensitivity, however, is that the sleep trackers widely available for purchase today are small. They’re also relatively inexpensive and easy for people to use with only modest reductions in reliability and accuracy.
One of the features that people find most interesting is the data that comes from their sleep tracker.
- The accelerometer in the device tracks the speed of your movement while you sleep.
- But it also follows the direction of your movement.
- Many devices have a specific “sleep mode” that you use to tell the device that you are now going to bed.
Using these devices to track sleep is referred to as “actigraphy,” which is a method that is considered accurate enough for recording information about rest for several decades. Healthy adults that have regular sleep patterns can expect to use sleep tracking devices to get reasonably accurate information about their sleep habits and overall sleep patterns.
What Are Some of The Best Sleep Trackers Options?
There are many sleep tracking devices on the market today. This is because more consumers are interested in monitoring their sleep habits and activity habits over the course of several days. While each device has its pros and cons, they are mostly accurate enough to give helpful information.
Fitbit, Apple, and Jawbone are the most popular options, but they are not the only sleep tracking devices available. We’ll give a quick overview of the best sleep trackers, and also mention some alternatives.
Apple Watch Series 5
Using the Apple watch as a sleep tracker may not be the first thing that pops into your mind. But this very capable watch can record your sleep patterns. Out of the box, the watch is not set up as a sleep tracker, but there are several apps in the apple store that you can use for sleep tracking.
Download one of the sleep tracking apps and change the setting on the wake screen to off. This will ensure the bright display of the watch doesn’t light up in your face while you sleep. Some find this device to be a little bulky as a sleep tracker, but installing the app is easy, and many already have the Apple watch.
The battery on the Apple watch may also be an issue. And you may need to charge if for a bit before heading to sleep. Most report that with 30 minutes of charging the Apple watch has more than enough battery to make it through the night, and possibly through most of the next day.
Fitbit Ionic and the Fitbit Charge Series
When comparing Fitbits as sleep trackers, it’s important to note the kind of Fitbit devices you add in the comparison. The Fitbit Ionic and Fitbit Charge series of watches are both conventional devices used for sleep tracking. And comparing one Fitbit to another can be tricky since they use much of the same hardware.
Fitbit Ionic Watch
The Fitbit Ionic is a more watch-like device. However, the Fitbit Charge 2 to 4 resembles a thick bracelet in shape but also shows information just like a smartwatch.
Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Swim Tracking
Both Fitbits use a touch-sensitive screen and are considered to be accurate when used as sleep tracking devices.
A common question is how the Fitbit tracks sleep. And the easy answer is that it does it with an accelerometer just like other devices. It may be tempting to compare the Fitbit to something like an Apple watch; however, the devices are entirely different.
The Apple Watch is a smartwatch that has most of the capabilities of a cell phone. But the Fitbit lacks some of those capabilities and excels in tracking data about your activity and movements directly out of the box. Let’s look at another highly appreciated Fitbit Charge 2 model we are sure you would enjoy for all daily or nocturnal activities!
Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband
Fitbits have multi-day battery life. They also come with features specifically to provide insights about your activity and your sleep over a 30-day period. Fitbit watches also commonly have a heart rate monitor, and double as fitness trackers.
The Jawbone Up3 is another sleep tracker that is also a fitness tracker. They initially released the Jawbone as a cheap fitness tracker that undercuts the competition. But it has since upgraded to a sleep tracker that can track a more significant number of variables.
The Jawbone also has a much sleeker design that is more attractive to individuals who don’t require a watch or touchscreen, but still want to track their activities. The discreet styling of the Jawbone makes it one of the best sleep trackers when compared to the Fitbit, which is more robust.
The Jawbone does not have a screen like other fitness and sleep trackers, but it does come with a convenient dashboard to make viewing your data fast and easy.
5 Best Sleep Trackers of 2020
Comparing Fitbits and other fitness trackers can mean considering many variables, but it’s essential to find what you want to track. Many devices can hold quite a bit of music. Others have touchscreens, can monitor sleep and activity, and have a whole host of other features that not every user will find helpful.
Let’s see some of the best sleep trackers of the year. If you want us to review each model in-depth and give you our conclusions and verdicts about them, feel free to tell us in the comments section! Keep in mind that most of these sleep trackers will help you keep up with your advanced or beginner workout plan, diet plan, and the achievement of a healthier, better life!
1. FITFORT Fitness Tracker with Blood Pressure HR Monitor
2. L8star Fitness Tracker and Activity Tracker with Heart Rate & Sleep Monitor
3. Letsfit Smart Watch & Fitness Tracker
4. Wellue O2Ring Oxygen Tracker and Fitness Monitor with Sleep Insights
5. Samsung Galaxy Smart Watch
Choosing the Best Sleep Trackers on the Market: Bottom Line
This level of simplicity is highly sought after because it reduces the amount of time involved in tracking your sleep and activity. It also saves money. Cheap fitness trackers are widely available, and many individuals find they satisfy their needs.
If you are looking to track only your sleep, consider a dedicated sleep tracker such as the Sleepace Reston, or the Beddit 3 Smart Sleep Monitor. Both devices are discreet, easy to use, accurate, and require minimal setup. For those who want a smartwatch that doubles up as a fitness and sleep monitor that blends in their smartphone ecosystem, the Apple Watch for iOS and the Samsung Galaxy for Android are the obvious choices.
For those that want simpler sleep trackers and activity trackers, that can mean more discreet devices. It can also mean longer battery lives and frequently a more straightforward app or dashboard for when you are looking over your data.