In this article, I discuss what it means to have a good night sleep, as well as cover a few of the best sleep monitors available to help you observe how you’ve slept the previous night.
Such data can provide you with analysis on the degree to which you had a good night sleep the previous night, and more importantly, it can give you a pretty good idea of what you might want to do differently in terms of your ‘night time rituals’ to ensure you get a proper night's rest.
Frankly speaking, life is stressful, and the first step towards doing something about it is to know exactly how much it's affecting you.
Smart sleep monitors can play a part in that, and give you the information you need to help you achieve better rest.
A sleep monitor is a device that can be placed directly beneath your mattress and will monitor your sleep cycles.
Using its connection to the network, it feeds back its data to an app that will show you how your sleep cycles looked - deep, light and REM. Snoring and heart rate are also tracked.
Good sleep is defined as sleeping 85 per cent or more of the night, falling asleep within 30 minutes of getting into bed, and waking once or less per night for a maximum of 20 minutes.
Already millions of people use sleep monitors and the data shared with the National Sleep Foundation suggests that more than a quarter of people take longer to fall asleep.
Bad sleep patterns are not just a result of having a coffee too late in the day, but can be indicators of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, dementia, delirium, and Parkinson's.
Obviously gathering information will only help identify the diseases, not cure them, but in most cases you can improve your sleep score by taking simple steps such as minimizing blue lights, reducing exercising and work just before bedtime and eliminating afternoon naps.
BEST SLEEP MONITORS
WITHINGS SLEEP TRACKER
This sleep-tracking pad is elegantly designed, includes heart sensors and is able to detect snoring, which it reports back via a Wi-Fi connection to the Nokia Health Mate app with an easy-to-understand Sleep Score.
Once placed under the mattress you've completed the install, and the app will have data for you every morning, or you can even get it through Nokia.
Since not everyone knows how to improve their sleep, Nokia has included a Sleep Smarter Programme in its app, which is a dedicated coaching programme.
For fans of integration, there is IFTTT compatibility - why not set it up to trigger your bedroom lights and coffee machine when you wake up?
BEAUTYREST SLEEPTRACKER MONITOR
The Beautyrest Sleep tracker, is a non-wearable sleep monitor that continuously tracks all stages of your sleep - from light to deep sleep, restorative REM sleep, breathing and heart rate.
It comes with an intuitive app that shows you accurate readings and translates the information into personalized sleep data. This sleep monitor is fully integrated and Alexa enabled.
The Beautyrest Sleep tracker is able to monitor two sleepers independently and separate their sleep data for individualized reporting and sleeping tips.
SLEEPSCORE MAX SLEEP TRACKING DEVICE
SleepScore Max sleep monitor measures the quality and quantity of your sleep without requiring a wearable device or placing anything on your bed.
The SleepScore Max has a processor and memory unit that can sit under the bed, so it can store data before you download it.
Although a great deal of scientific data is presented, the accompanying app will also give you a Sleep Score and a Sleep Efficiency percentage.
OTHER WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP
Other smart technology that can go a long way to help are lights like Philips Ambience, which can be set to a warmer color temperature toward the evening.
Blue light is similar to that seen in the morning and encourages the body to come to life, while a warmer color is similar to the light from the end of the day, and helps people fall to sleep naturally.