Sweet dreams are made of this
Research is showing that both the length and the quality of our sleep have a big effect on how well we feel, and more and more of us are talking about having problems getting a good night’s rest.
There are lots of solutions you can try, but could technology help?
Various apps and wearable devices, provide sleep tracking features, and j there are also apps to help you get to sleep and wake up more calmly, as well as options to adjust the color and brightness of phone and tablet screens in the evening – one new factor associated with sleeping difficulties. The S+ from ResMed is something different.
Monitors you through the night and gives effective sleeping tips.
ResMed is a company that’s been working on sleep disorders since 1989, and its latest gadget sits by your bed and monitors your breathing, analyses jour sleep pattern and advises you on how to improve it. The S+’s hollow1 metal loop stand supports a plastic sensor cube that you tilt towards your chest. It’s OK if you sleep on your front, but it’s not designed for children. It only tracks one sleeper, but it should cope if there are two of you in the bed. as long as you don’t swap places. Your movement is measured using very’ low-power radio waves, and you can watch the app (Android and iOS) on your phone (during the day) to see your breathing graphed out in real time. The real point, though, is to track it through the night, along with sound, light and temperature.
When you go to bed, you sync your phone to the S+ and answer a few questions about your day so that it can take other factors into account: exercise, caffeine, alcohol and so on. Then it plays relaxing noises to help you fall sleep. When you wake up. you stop the S+ and it scores your sleep (see screenshots below’) and offers you suggestions, like try sleeping on your left side, or turning the heating down.
Our testers were impressed by the effectiveness of the S+ and the practical nature of the advice. We couldn’t conduct a full controlled trial, but we’d say this is a better option than a fitness band.
Non-contact sleep sensor • Mains cable • Requires minimum iOS 6 or Android 4 phone or tablet • Requires internet connection for advice • 206x107x53mm (HxWxD) • One-year warranty
You’ll need a smartphone to connect it to, but the S+ shows a device made for just one job can do it better
Fitbit Flex 2
Like some other fitness bands and watches, this tracks your sleep, but its advice isn’t as comprehensive