Sleep devices are tools that are used to assist the user in understanding individual sleep patterns with the objective of improving sleep and optimizing daytime performance, or treating sleep problems such as sleep disorders. Some of these sleep gadgets are worn on the user during sleep. Some are placed on the bed stand.
In this section, we review these sleep monitoring devices, sleep wearables, sleep trackers and apps and other sleep gadgets, show how they work, and get feedback from users. Users will rate sleep technologies to rank the best sleep gadgets.
How Do Sleep Devices Work?
Most of the sleep monitoring technologies work by using sensors on a device to collect information about the sleeper and summarize the input.
How sleep is monitored in a sleep laboratory
Historically, sleep was monitored (and still is monitored), in a sleep center performing a sleep study. During a traditional sleep study, the patient or research subject is attached to dozens of wires and electrodes. They are strategically placed on the body to measure specific biologic rhythms, including: brain waves, eye movements, breathing, muscle tone, heart rhythm, blood-oxygen saturation, and snoring. These signals are sent to a polysomnograph which records the data. The data is processed by a sleep technologist and then sent to a sleep physician for interpretation.
How sleep is monitored by home sleep gadgets
With improvements and miniaturization of technology, what was once the size of a refrigerator can now be placed in the palm of a hand. Some sleep gadgets have their own proprietary sensors. Some sleep-tracking technologies are app-based (sleep apps and snoring apps.)
Many of these new tools use microphones, motion sensors, and cameras to monitor the sleeper. Some use temperature sensors and light sensors. Some newer sleep wearables utilize electrodes and other sensors that are attached to the body.
Popular Sleep Tracker Gadgets:
Beddit – Additional sensor is placed near bed and integrates with your phone to measures movement, heart rate, breathing, snoring – iOS – Apple and Android – $149 – Beddit website
Hello – Additional sensor is placed near bed and integrates with your phone to measures temperature, humidity, ambient light, airborne particulates, – iOS – Apple and Android – $129.
S+ from ResMed – Measures movement, breathing, light, noise, and temperature – integrates with smartphone or tablet – $149 -iOS – Apple and Android – S+ website
Lark – with wristband, wakes up user with vibration – $49 Lark Website
Jawbone UP – measures movement on wrist – $100 – 150
Fitbit – measures movement on wrist – Fitbit Website
Popular Sleep Tracker Apps:
Sleep Cycle – measures movement – placed under pillow.
SleepRate – measures sound and heart rate.
Other Sleep Devices
Philips Wake-up Light Plus – Uses light and sound to awaken the sleeper gently and more like natural morning sunlight – $169 – Philips website
How much do sleep devices cost? Most of the devices listed above cost between $100 – $200. Most of the apps are a few dollars.
Are sleep monitoring devices safe?
Generally, these devices are safe. There is a potential danger that the user will mask or underdiagnose a potentially dangerous sleep disorder
Which is the best sleep tracker and sleep wearable?
There is little data assessing practical efficacy with this category of technology.
Medical Sleep Treatment Devices
There are several physician-prescribed devices used for the treatment of sleep disorders. Most of the devices mentioned here are for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. However, there are devices used for other sleep disorders.
As technology evolves, more and better sleep devices will come to market with the objective of helping people sleep better. Please contact us with your stories of how sleep devices have helped you.