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5 Best Sleep Trackers for 2020

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Wearing a Sleep Tracker

It’s the latest buzzword in the citizen science of sleep. Sleep trackers have in recent years become increasingly more popular, and also more advanced. Some use them for the novelty, while others are truly seeking answers. Either way, to know what’s happening when the lights go off, has a number of advantages.

What are Sleep Trackers?

Sleep Trackers are devices designed to help you understand and improve your sleep. They come in many shapes and sizes — and each have their own unique features and designs.  Today you are very likely to find some form of sleep tracking on any smart device, but the most popular are wearables such as smartwatches and fitness bands,  while some might opt for bed stand gadgets and pads you put under your mattress.

How they track your sleep depends on the device. Most wearables tend to track heart rate and movement, while more sophisticated bed sleep trackers use echolocation to detect movement and breathing.

The data collected offers unique insights through complex algorithms developed by the manufacturers. You can see how much sleep you actually get, the quality of sleep, how often you wake up, and if your vitals such as heart rate and breathing are normal.

The idea is to then use these insights to improve your sleep habits. Often, the apps where you view your stats will offer guidance.

What are the advantages of using a Sleep Tracker?

Knowledge is power. An alarming third of Americans aren’t getting enough good quality sleep. This can lead to a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.

Having insight into how much you’re actually sleeping, the quality of your sleep and any big changes whilst tracking, can help you improve. If you have no data, nothing can be done.

These devices, depending on their specs can:

  • Track awake and sleep phases
  • Monitor sleep quality
  • Detect big changes
  • Track Heart Rate
  • Pick up on sleep patterns
  • Monitor overall health and fitness
  • Time wake up to lightest sleep phase
  • Improve sleep habits
  • Help advance sleep science through big data

While this data can help pick up on any underlying issues, what it can’t do is diagnose any sleep disorders. That said, according to the Cleveland Clinic the data could help your doctor determine if it could be necessary to see a sleep specialist.

And let’s face it, it’s cool. Who doesn’t love waking up (in the best sleep phase) and checking the stats on their night’s rest. The data collected, when you opt in, could also be helping scientists gain valuable insights.

Big Data and Citizen Science

A recent study determined that big data collected from wearable devices could lead to more breakthroughs in the future.

There are already collaborations taking place to help citizens make use of this data to support science. One of these is between the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) and IBM. They have launched the “SleepHealth Mobile Study”, which is the first patient-led sleep study based on Apple ResearchKit.

The authors of the study conclude that “Real life and real-time behavioral (sensor-based), molecular, digital/computational, and epidemiological big data represent the sources of an impressive wealth of information that can be exploited in order to advance the field of sleep research”.

If that excites you, make sure to share your stats in the future. If you don’t choose to share your data (anonymously) it stays on your device for your eyes only.

If you want to improve your sleep habits, get to see your night time tossing and turning in a chart while sipping your morning coffee, we present to you our top 5 Sleep Trackers for 2020.

Top Sleep Trackers For 2020

  • FitBit Versa2
  • FitBit Alta HR
  • BeautyRest
  • Withings Sleep
  • Garmin Vivosmart 4

1. The Smart Sleep Tracker – FitBit Versa 2

Fitbit is one of  the leaders in Sleep Tracking. With years of sleep, fitness and stress data collected from users (over three billion unique sleep logs and counting), it has analyzed that information together with a group of sleep experts to develop its sleep algorithms, technology and devices.

Fitbit recently analyzed data on 6 million nights of sleep and came up with some fascinating results. They use this data to help users implement better sleep hygiene practices. One finding is that people whose bedtime was consistent throughout the week have better sleep quality than people who go to bed at any hour.

With all their devices, Fitbit offers free basic sleep tracking and insights, however they have recently introduced a paid premium service that offers detailed, personalized health reports, contextual advice and new in 2020 – health coaching.

Paid subscribers will be able to contact a certified health and wellness coach through the app. The coach will use their data to offer personalized advice and guidance.

The subscription is really cheap, going for around $79.99 per year – so don’t let that put you off.

Basic Sleep Features

  • Sleep Score
  • Sleep Phases
  • Sleep Duration
  • Restlessness Tracking
  • Heart Rate

Unique Sleep Features

  • Smart Wake
  • Unique Sleep Data Analysis
  • Access to Health and Wellness Coach*

Other features

  • Stylish & Comfortable Design
  • Heath and Fitness Tracker
  • Water Resistant
  • 6 Day Battery Life
  • Smartwatch
  • Alexa Enabled

What are the pros and cons?

Pros – Fitbit is continuously innovating and offering users new and exciting products and insights into their health. Buying a FitBit is definitely a long term investment in your health. The new Versa 2 has so many uses, it’s truly the SmartWatch Sleep Tracker for the person who wants it all on their wrist.

Ladies, it even tracks your cycle.

Cons – We love the functionality, but unfortunately you have to pay for the premium sleep analytics (but it’s worth it, of course)

Our top loved feature? The Smart Wake. Man, this is awesome. You just set your alarm for the time you need to be up, and your tracker will wake you up before then in your lightest sleep phase. You will feel more rested than you have in years!

Retail Price $199.95 + subscription

Verdict? We love FitBit and it’s an investment worth making. As the new Versa 2 is a SmartWatch and many of the premium features are paid, the biggest thing is to decide if you really need it. If you’re into something more simplistic, we have an alternative listed next.

2. The Classic Sleep Tracker – FitBit Alta HR

FitBit AltaThis simple, light weight, slim Sleep Tracker is the minimalist dream. If you’re trying to detox the tech, you won’t be getting any notifications on the Alta.  If you’re looking for something simple to help you monitor your sleep, heart rate, running distance etc. this is perfect. It still has all the basic FitBit features, however there isn’t that temptation to opt in for all the extras.

Basic Sleep Features

  • Sleep Score
  • Sleep Phases
  • Sleep Duration
  • Heart Rate

Other features

  • 7+ day Battery Life

What are the pros and cons?

Pros – The battery lasts, and lasts, and lasts. With a simple Heart Rate monitor, and no Smart functionality, it offers the basics in a sleek design. It’s also pretty cheap.

Con – It isn’t waterproof – and whether it will survive the shower is still an ongoing debate.

Top loved feature? Its simplicity. Just you and your FitBit.

Retail Price $129.95

Verdict?  It’s a keeper, we love the fact that it just does what it’s meant to do. You can’t go wrong with the Fitbit Alta, but if you’re looking for something that offers a bit more that Fitbit is able to give or an alternative to wearables… continue reading.

3. The Couples Sleep Tracker – BeautyRest

Can’t stand wearing a watch at night? And looking for a permanent fixture in the bedroom? Then the BeautyRest Sleep Tracker is for you.

Pioneered by the Simmons Bedding Company, this innovation sleep tracker turns your bed into a smart device.

This product is also ideal for those with a smart home. The BeautyRest connects to any smart home network, and can be used in conjunction with other devices that will ensure that perfect night’s rest. Ask Alexa to turn on the Nest thermostats half an hour before your usual bedtime in winter and switch of the Philips Hue lighting a few minutes after getting into bed.

Basic Sleep Features

  • Sleep Score
  • Sleep Phases
  • Sleep Duration
  • Heart Rate
  • Restlessness Tracking

Unique Sleep Features

  • Track Breathing
  • Enable Smart Wake on Phone
  • AI Driven Deep Data Analysis
  • Personalized Sleep Coaching
  • Two Person Sleep Monitor

Other features

  • Alexa Enabled
  • Non-wearable
  • Smart Home Integration

What are the pros and cons?

Pros – Get a detailed analysis of your sleep with this sleep specific device. There are as many benefits to having an all in one smartwatch as there are in having the perfect bedroom setup to a good night’s rest.

If you’re looking for the ultimate in Sleep specific technology, a stand alone device is your best bet.

Top loved feature? We love the couples feature… it will definitely save you money and the dual analysis might offer deeper insights into your bedroom dynamics.

Retail Price $199

Verdict?  We love the fact that it has Smart Home integration, but what if you haven’t found that significant other… it could be a bit too much.

4. The Sleep Apnea Sleep Tracker – Withings Sleep

Sleep Apnea is a serious problem in the U.S., with an estimated 22 million Americans suffering from it. The shocking statistic here is that around 80 percent of these cases are undiagnosed.

Withings Sleep Tracker aims to help users identify key characteristics in their sleep results that could indicate Sleep Apnea.

Numerous users have gone as far as to say that this device saved their lives, as they were sent to specialists thanks to their data.

We’re definitely not saying that this device replaces a doctor, and the first step is always to consult your doctor, but if the results can help convince your GP that you need further test, that might be worth it.

Basic Sleep Features

  • Sleep Score
  • Sleep Phases
  • Sleep Duration
  • Restlessness Tracking
  • Heart Rate

Unique Sleep Features

  • Detects Snoring and Breathing Disturbances
  • Smart home automation for improved sleep routines
  • Unique Algorithms used to analyze data
  • Can detect signs of Sleep Apnea according to manufacturers

Other features

  • Alexa Enabled
  • Non-wearable

What are the pros and cons?

Pros – According to the manufacturers it can help detect Sleep Apnea. That’s a biggie.

Con – No Smart Wake – we love our Smart Wake!

Top loved feature? Possible Sleep Apnea detection

Retail Price $98.99

Verdict? As a Sleep Tracker it has many great features. As a single person, knowing if you snore (and why) would be a handy thing, especially if you’re looking for a relationship. If Sleep Apnea could be an issue, this device might help you realize it and take further steps.

5. The Holistic Sleep Tracker – Garmin Vívosmart 4

Garmin isn’t known for their sleep tech, but we had to add their Sleep Tracker because of its unique features. We called it our Holistic Sleep Tracker due to the factors it monitors during the night… and day.

The quality of your sleep affects and is affected by many parts of your life. Garmin realized that and through innovative technology try to give users a way to monitor their overall stress and energy levels to improve their sleep quality.

Imagine waking up and having your watch show you how full your body is “charged”. That would give you an idea of what tasks to take on during the day and if your “energy” is running critically low at lunch, you might take a powernap – to top up.

The Garmin Vivosmart innovative also monitors stress levels during the day. This data is taken into consideration when analyzing your sleep quality.

If you want a device that’s going to help you navigate your day, make better choices at night and give you a holistic view of your day, the Garmin Vivosmart is for you.

Basic Sleep Features

  • Sleep Score
  • Sleep Phases
  • Sleep Duration
  • Heart Rate

Unique Sleep Features

  • Blood Oxygen Saturation Level Monitor With The Wrist-based Pulse Ox Sensor
  • All Day Stress Tracking
  • Body Battery Energy Monitoring

Other features

  • 7+ Day Battery Life
  • Smartwatch
  • Slim design
  • Heath and Fitness Tracker
  • Water Resistant

What are the pros and cons?

Pros – Who doesn’t want to know their daily stress levels and combat Body Battery depletion with a mid afternoon nap?

Cons – For some unknown reason, Gramin decided to make the strap fixed. So deciding on the colour you want (forever) is going to be your first challenge.

Top loved feature? We love the Body Battery Energy Monitor!

Retail Price $129.99

Verdict? Stylish design and with absolutely unique features, it has to be our favorite for 2020!

Depending on your personal needs, there is some amazing tech to be explored. The world of Sleep Science is expanding and the insights we are gaining from Sleep Tracker users are invaluable. Make the world a better place for all to sleep in, and buy that Sleep Tracker!