I don’t know why I’m quoting Zoolander, but lets just roll with it. Anyway, the point of this post was to talk about sleep. Or lack of it.
The thing that’s put me off about sleep trackers is that you usually have to sleep with something on your wrist, under your sheets or clipped onto your pillow. How is sticking a foreign object in my bed going to help me sleep if I already don’t sleep very well? Today marks the release of the first non-contact sleep tracker – the S+ by ResMed. The S+ uses SleepSensor technology which makes it possible for the first time to track, analyze and improve sleep at home without needing to wear something on your wrist or put things under your bedding. The S+ is a device that sits beside the bed, which uses a cloud-hosted Sleep Mentor system and connects to a free mobile app (iOS and Android) and analyses each stage of sleep through the night.
The technical bit: The bedside device uses a highly calibrated respiratory and bio-motion sensor to measure and analyse sleep stages. It records movements caused by the expansion and relaxation of the chest with breathing in and out, and overall body movements such as positional changes, arm twitches and shrugs. The S+ Sleep Mentor uses a software algorithm based on over two million nights of sleep data to give you personalised feedback and suggestions to help you improve your sleep.
Each morning, the S+ app gives you a sleep score and shows you a chart of how well you’ve slept including time spent in REM, light sleep and deep sleep. Unlike other smartphone apps and sleep trackers on the market, the S+ prides itself on being accurate with tracking every stage of sleep as well as the light, temperature and noise in the room. It’s already available in the US and tests show that below-average sleepers slept an extra 45 minutes each night after just one week of using the S+.
Setting up the tracker is simple – you plug in the device, download the app, answer a few personal questions (eg. How many times a week do you exercise? Do you sleep with a partner? How often do you drink alcohol/caffeine?) and you’re good to go. One thing I will say is PLUG IN YOUR PHONE OVERNIGHT. I left mine unplugged the first night and the Bluetooth connection drained my battery and I was left with an uncharged phone. Duh. The bedside device has an extra USB connection so you’re not losing out on a phone charging spot when it’s plugged in – pure brilliance! I really had no excuse!
I’ve been trialling this for the last few days and let me say one thing. I had no idea just how much I woke up during the night! The worst so far is 13 disruptions. 13! What (or who, erhem) is making me wake up that many times during the night!? The screenshot above is from the online login area where you can see a slightly more detailed version of your night’s sleep. I’ll definitely be taking in some of the tips which the app is giving me to hopefully improve my sleep over the next few days and weeks.
So far the S+ has my full approval – it’s a small device that sits on the bedside table and connects easily to an app. There’s nothing ugly about it, there’s nothing uncomfortable about it, there’s nothing annoying to use about it. It monitors my sleep in ways I never knew were possible from one small device and it’s giving me useful tips to help me improve every night. If you’re looking at using something to help monitor your sleep but don’t fancy having something attached to your arm or put under your bed covers (why would you!?) then the S+ by ResMed is perfect for that!