How Accurate are Sleep Trackers?
The Best sleep trackers: How Accurate are Sleep Trackers?
They sound like a good idea; sleep trackers can help identify sleep patterns and disclose details that can help battle insomnia and improve sleep. But how accurate are they, and which ones are the best?
What Are Sleep Trackers?
Devices for tracking sleep come in many forms with various capabilities and complexities. Some will only monitor a few key metrics, while others are exceedingly robust, providing extensive details and feedback.
Wearable sleep trackers maintain contact with your skin, continuously gathering information about various aspects of sleep and other data regarding items like physical activity and additional helpful insights.
Other strategies employ non-wearable devices such as smartphone apps and monitors that you place on or under your mattress. These devices often monitor your sleeping environment, delivering data regarding temperature and humidity.
Sleep trackers typically consider body temperature, heart rate, breathing patterns, and your movements in bed to quantify and determine whether or not you are sleeping.
One essential data point for determining sleep quality is how much time you spend in deep REM sleep. We go through four stages of sleep, with the fourth quarter being the deepest, where Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep occurs. Our breathing becomes irregular, and our heart rate increases, bringing on dreams during this period of deep sleep.
Even the best sleep trackers fall short when determining your sleep stages and how long they last. The majority of these products reside in the category of lifestyle and entertainment devices, meaning they do not fall under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration. There is no authority monitoring or approving the accuracy or function of these implements.
An accurate and complete evaluation of your sleep patterns requires monitoring and measuring your brain waves beyond the capabilities of at-home efforts like sleep trackers. You can only obtain the necessary tests and monitoring to provide this information at a certified sleep clinic.
Among the problems with sleep trackers are:
- Extreme inaccuracy in determining how long it takes you to get to sleep.
- Reporting that you are sleeping when you are not.
- Often indicating you are sleeping longer than you are.
- Ineffective in determining sleep stages.
But, even with these shortcomings, sleep trackers can be useful in some cases because they help keep your focus on improving your rest and can lead to valuable insights to defeat insomnia.
Which Sleep Trackers Are the Best?
With so many options from which to choose, determining which are the best sleep trackers can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we have the Internet and authoritative resources like the Sleep Foundation, which make sleep their business. So, in this article, we will discuss the Sleep Foundation’s top three choices for personal sleep trackers.
The Oura Ring – Best Overall
This lightweight, unobtrusive ring is available in four color options, measures body temperature, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels continuously day and night, and provides three scores to evaluate the duration and quality of your physical activities and sleep.
The app evaluates these metrics for recommendations to improve your sleep habits and offers 50 audio options to improve focus, meditation, and sleep.
Whoop 4.0 – Best for Active People
With its next-gen design and features, a gentle vibrating alarm, and a vast array of color options, the Whoop 4.0 is popular among physically active individuals.
One of its most unique and popular attributes is the ability to detach the sensor from the band for use in various garments like leggings, sports bras, athletic boxers, compression tops, and even intimates, each with a small pocket to hold the sensor for your workout or as you sleep.
The sensor is water resistant, and the robust battery provides up to five days of continuous use.
Sleepon Go2Sleep Tracker – Most Comprehensive
Another wearable ring, the Go2Sleep Tracker, covers multiple metrics syncing with your phone to deliver data on the proprietary mobile app. The device will alert users to abnormal blood oxygen saturation levels and sports an alarm that considers your sleep patterns to awaken you during the lightest phase of sleep. It also can provide data regarding habits that might influence sleep quality and duration.
You can get the Sleepon app for Apple, Android, Windows, and Mac users, and it will automatically sync with the iOS health app for Apple users.
Choosing Your Sleep Tracker
As with all things sleep, your best answer is the one that fits your particular needs and situation. It is essential to do your due diligence and understand your options, the kinds of data the device will collect, and how comfortable you will be wearing or using a particular product.
In other words, the answer is yours to discover and not ours to provide. You can go to the Sleep Foundation for details on all the products in their report. Or, perform your online search and look at everything available.
The information and insights you might discover using a sleep tracker can help improve your sleep. However, there are concerns with the validity and quality of the data they provide. But they can still help identify some of the issues and potential solutions to your sleep difficulties.
Some Sleep Science Academy clients report satisfaction with the results they receive, while others are not so impressed by these devices. For a natural remedy to insomnia, the science-based successful program of Dynamic Sleep Recalibration (DSR) exclusive to Sleep Science Academy is the best and most successful available.
Each client works with a personal certified holistic health/sleep coach who crafts a treatment plan specifically for that individual and their particular needs. Their coach will support and guide them through conquering insomnia and achieving a lifetime of restorative rest, peaceful nights, and happy, productive days.
You can read this article to learn more about DSR and the Sleep Science Academy difference.
If sleeping through the night and awakening refreshed and ready to face the day sounds appealing (why wouldn’t it?) Contact us today and schedule your complimentary sleep consultation with one of our certified sleep coaches.
Our 100% money-back guarantee means you have nothing to lose except those bags under your eyes.