In this article we are showing you the best sleep tracking device we have found, the Withings Sleep. We’ve tried a number of different sleep tracking devices and apps, and this is by far the one we recommend.
Why Do You Need A Sleep Tracker?
If you’ve read Matthew Walker’s 2017 book “Why We Sleep”, you already know how sleep deprived most of us are and how our lack of sleep affects our day to day productivity, not to mention its link to numerous fatal diseases including dementia.
Withings Sleep Tracking Mat is a simple mat that slips under your mattress and connects to an app that tracks your sleep duration, depth, regularity, snoring and more. Just the fact of seeing everyday how little, or how light you are actually sleeping can be a massive eye opener and be enough to motivate you to get to bed earlier and start evaluating what elements of your lifestyle might be affecting your quality of sleep.
The Technology of a sleep tracking mat
The Withings sleep has powerful sensing capabilities. The sleep analyzer records and computes your health parameters in realtime to understand your sleep and deliver accurate health data. We’ll go over just a few of the metrics it tracks.
Heart Rate: Each time your heart beats it propels a mechanical wave through your body which is measured continually with high precision by it’s sensor.
Breathing: Sleep analyzer filters your motion signal to extract your breathing rate throughout the night
Movement: The movements of your body generate mechanical waves which are captured by the pneumonic sensor.
Snore detection: There are other apps that do this on smartphones or smart watches, but not only do you have to remember to turn these on at night, they also use your microphone to record you through the night. The Withings detects this automatically and without any audio being recorded on your device.
Sleep Apnea Detection: 1 in 5 adults are estimated to have obstructed sleep apnea and 80% of them don’t know they have it. This is an underdiagnosed but serious condition. It lets you know how severe your sleep apnea is from Good, Moderate to Severe.
Highly Powerful, Yet Uncomplicated Tech
What’s great is that Withings developed their sleep analyzer alongside physicians so not only is this thing highly powerful it is also clinically validated.
What we love is that despite all this sophistication and research based data, the Withings Sleep is uncomplicated tech. Even though it has a lot going on, it makes you forget that it’s there. After the initial set up process, you never have to interact with the device anymore. You don’t have to add a new habit or task to you life by remembering to turn it on… it just works.
We really love the app and how it’s laid out. All the elements it tracks are summed up in a “sleep score” which is a cool way to track your progress and gets you motivated to get your score up. They simplified all this tech into something so easy to use it feels like a game.
It’s great because at a glance you can see your score and get an idea of how you are doing, whether your sleep is improving or getting worse, and you can decide to dial in to see specifics. For example if you notice your score going down or that it was lower on a certain day, you can tap into that particular data to see what the problem was: whether it was your duration, your depth, or interruptions to your sleep, so you can suss out the problem and find ways to improve.
Wi-Fi Off While You Sleep
One really awesome feature is that the wifi on the Withings Sleep is turned off while you sleep. There’s always some concern about sleeping near our cell phone and devices that emit wifi signals. Withings Sleep is great because it detects your presence and the wifi signal is turned off while you sleep and reactivated when you get up.
We’ve tried all the apps, and there is really nothing quite like the Withings Sleep. You just go to bed and the mat tracks everything. Any other sleep apps we tried were either too technical, hard to understand or just not sleek in their design. Some others required you to remember to start it at night and stop it in the morning, or to keep your phone beside your bed. With other apps you have to wear a smartwatch to bed which has to be charged to last the night, which is when most people charge their watch. These apps work, but in the long run because it requires interaction, you eventually stop using them. With the Withings, it just works on its own while you sleep, and even if you forget to check your stats for a couple days, you can always open the app and all the data’s there.
The ease of use, the simplicity of not having to change your habits to use it, and all the metrics it tracks are the reasons we love the withings Sleep and why it is our favourite sleep tracking device.