Apart from tracking your sleep, most powerful applications and devices out there are also able to help you improve the way you sleep. Because we could all use a better goodnight sleep, it is important to monitor how many hours per sleep you get, but also know your sleep cycles and learn how you could make the most of your time by scheduling sleeping hours.
The key to feeling rested in the morning is a mix between good habits like eating healthy, exercising, drinking enough water, avoiding alcohol and going to sleep at a reasonable time. However, another important aspect that many people seem to be less aware of is understanding your own sleep cycles.
Everyone’s sleep is a little different, so unless you monitored you sleep to see exactly what cycles you’re going through and at what time, how much they last for and many other details, you won’t know how to improve it. Thanks to a few creative developers, we can now choose between a variety of devices, but also apps that track the way one sleeps. Ten of the best ones are also highlighted in the list below, but we welcome all additional suggestions that you may have.
Before we dive into the list of devices and apps that have been specifically designed to monitor our sleep, I think it’s worth taking a look at fitness bands, as well. These ones are basically wrist bands that are meant to be worn whenever doing sports – they track how many calories you lost, how many steps you made or how much time you’ve been running for.
Apart from that, however, certain bands can also do sleep tracking. Because it plays an important part in staying healthy and doing well when exercising, Basic Peak lets you track the way you sleep by breaking down all of your deep, light and REM cycles. It also monitors the awake and restless times during your sleep, and all you need to do is to wear the band when you go to bed.
Being one of the most epensive such devices, though, Basic Peak can cost up to $200 depending whether you buy it online or in store. It comes with no buttons, so you will have to use the touchscreen in order to manage your results, and it can be used on both iOS and Android smartphones.
If you’d like something a little more focused on sleeping and less focused on other health-related matters, Sleep Time might be for you. As opposed to the previous one, this is only an app and does not come with a device to use.
It is compatible with Android devices, as well as most iPhones and iPads, and it works like an alarm that analyzes the sleep phases you’re going through at night. All you have to do is set the time you went to sleep and register an alarm for whenever you’d like to be woken up.
The rest of the hard work will be done by the application yourself – depending on how much it takes for you to go to sleep, it will calculate what time you should go to sleep in order to feel rested by the time your alarm will go off. This is simple and based on scientific facts about the way we sleep – it even works when someone else is sharing the bed with you!
Going back to our fitness bands, FitBit Charge is another useful one that didn’t take long to become popular. It costs a little less than the previous band and is compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. This being said, you won’t only be able to use smartphones and tablets to control it, but also computers.
For about $130, you can get the FitBit band with its slim and elegant design. You will then be able to track your steps, as well as miles and calories, sleep, exercise and various other activities. It is completely water-resistant and lets you see the sleep history for a long period of time.
To summarize the way it works, this one should be on while you sleep so that it can show when you’re fast asleep, feeling restless, are totally awake or going through a different REM cycle. This way, you will understand how long it normally takes for you to fall asleep and what you should do to make the most of your time in bed.
An alternative to the previous band – available for a similar price – is the Vivosmart one from Garmin. It costs around $130-$150 and can be purchased from Amazon, as well as many other online websites specialized in technology and gadgets.
It is basically a sports watch equipped with GPS that tracks exactly where you are at a given time during the day. As long as you’re wearing it, the band will analyze your running. It tells you how many miles you ran for, how many calories you burnt while it also monitors your sleep.
The band is designed in a way that makes it feel comfortable and soft, so that you will almost forget you’re wearing it. It is also waterproof and works well with iOS, Windows, Android and Mac. You can connect it to your computer or mobile phone in order to manage and control the different sections, as you can see in the image above.
Jawbone itself was a pretty cool fitness device, but it might not have had the best start in the world. However, the developers working on this one didn’t give up too easily, so they came up with an improved version – Jawbone UP24.
Apart from focusing on exercising, this one addresses one of the most important factors in keeping healthy: sleep. By using the app that connects it to an iOS device or an Android smartphone, you will see your performance recorded within a report that you can save.
Apart from being connectable to your mobile device, it also works well with computers running on Mac or Windows. Its battery life is pretty impressive, as it can last for a full week without you having to recharge it. Find out more about it by reading this article or give it a try yourself!
Sleep as Android
As the name clearly indicates it, this is an app that only Android users will be able to take advantage of. However, it has been mentioned by so many people on forums and made it into the first 5 gadgets that they like to use for monitoring their sleep. Therefore, why not give it a chance?
Sleep as Android is one of the most efficient apps for monitoring your sleep cycles. While it was originally created with the purpose of making it easier for you to get up in the morning, it quickly turned into something much bigger. It analyzes the sound in your room, records whenever you’re snoring or talking and can be used as an alarm that will wake you up with soothing, gentle music.
If you’re not convinced yet, the good news is that you can try it for free – it comes with a 2 week trial period that you’d better take advantage of. Get it from Google Play for free and pay a $3 fee later on in order to grab your unlock code – it’s that simple!
Since we paid attention to Android, now it’s time to move onto something else. The Microsoft Band, released by the company suggestion within its name is one of the most powerful, but also a pretty expensive gadget.
It works as a fitness band that comes with an app and can be used on iOS and Android tablets or smartphones. Costing approximately $200 is you purchased it directly from the Microsoft store, this one can also be found on various website that may offer discounts or better prices.
Working in a very similar way to how other bands do, this band can be used during workouts, but also afterwards. By analyzing the way you sleep, how much and how well you do, it helps you select the best plans for working out during the following day. The screen is easy to customize and while there is no options for syncing the data into your computer, you can easily connect it to a mobile device.
One of the few efficient apps that only concentrate on sleeping and not on exercising as well is Sleep Cycle. This is a typical iOS-only application that will watch you while you sleep for a good couple of days before drawing significant conclusions.
This way, it makes sure that it deeply understands your sleeping habits, so that it can give you the best piece of advice. It’s probably one of the cheapest options you have, as well, since it only costs $1 to install it. Using the accelerometer that your iPhone comes with, this one needs to be placed next to the pillow in order to record motion during sleep.
It will show you a couple of graphs once you’re up – these ones are very easy to understand and help you see what you could do to improve your sleep. It also comes with various sounds to choose from in case you want to use it as an alarm clock.
The last app-only and no-gadget-necessary that we’re going to talk about is SleepBot. As opposed to the one before, this application can be used on Android, but it recently came up with a version for iPhone-users. To summarize what it can do for those who install it, this app can tell you how well or how bad you’ve been sleep over the last couple of nights.
It records some of the audio in your room while it also tracks any sort of movement and comes with tips and suggestions on how you could improve your sleep. Apart from showing you the general patterns and your cycles, it doesn’t just leave you hanging and wondering what to do net – it helps you, just like a friend would do!
The same app can be used as an alarm that will wake you up eactly the way you want – it is your decision what kind of music or sounds you’d like to hear in the morning. Check its website to find out more about its features or get it for free from Google Play.
One of the most revolutionary devices when it comes to sleep tracking is the one launched by ResMed. They came up with various devices that help us stay healthy and monitor our lifestyle, but nothing compares to the recently-released gadget called ResMed S+.
As you can see in the video above, this one can easily track your sleeping patterns without even having to touch you. There is no need to wear a band around your wrist, and all you’ll need to do is to connect the device to your smartphone via Bluetooth. This way, all the information from the S+ will be directly transferred to the ResMed application.
Wondering how it works? The microphone that your phone comes with is the answer to this questions – it is used to track the decibel level of the room and focus on the various noises without recording anything. The only important aspect not to forget is that you’ll have to log your bedtime before you go to bed, as well as the activities you’ve been involved in during the day. This way, your app will know if bad sleep that night has anything to do with you drinking too much or being nervous instead of assuming that it has to do with your health.