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Ask HN: Best sleep trackers?
181 points by softwaredoug 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 177 comments
I have pretty chronic sleep problems. Several in fact :-/. I wanted to get a sense form the tech-aware community what sleep trackers do people use? How accurate are they? Can you sleep comfortably with them? One challenge I have is I need to track my leg movements given restless legs...

(Yes I’ve had sleep studies and know home sleep tracking is imperfect...)






Anecdata: Have sleep apnea, so am interested in better sleep, and I'm hooked up to a CPAP machine which registers every breath I take. I've tried several devices (withings, 2 garmin smart watches and a fitbit), and quite frankly, the results have been appalling.

Some random observations:

* My latest garmin has an "SpO2" sensor. Which is basically a random number generator with red LED. When I compare the results with an actual on-finger SpO2 monitor, there is zero correlation.

* Both the fitbit and the garmins have mistaken masturbation for deep sleep. You would think that the wrist movement would be a clue to not being asleep, but no. Deep sleep.

* The deep sleep vs REM classification seems to be based more on time-of-day than on anything else. Apparently I always start my nights with a block of deep sleep, followed by an alternating pattern of light & REM. This is true even when I'm awake during this "deep sleep" malarky.

* My CPAP, on the other hand, is very useful for telling apart sleep & waking. Breathing rate becomes much more steady when asleep. I can see when I woke up, even if it's just for a few seconds while I change position.


I had an AHI of 150 and my CPAP has absolutely saved my life and massively improved my quality of life. The data it provides is also so empowering. I've been doing long term studies on pillow types for me.

As I understand it, Fitbit doesn't provide a detailed breakdown of your sleep unless it registers "more than 3 hours of sleep". Do you regularly idle in bed or otherwise for 3+ hours? While I take their stats with a hefty dosage of salt, I've not encountered the situations you have. I'm a fairly sedentary person and I don't think I can idle for more than 30-45 minutes.

Have you tried Sleepyhead to analyze your CPAP reports?

The developer stopped actively maintaining it, but the software still works great.

https://sleepyhead.jedimark.net/


OSCAR is the new sleepyhead. You can grab the source here: https://gitlab.com/pholy/OSCAR-code

Looks like it's currently getting some TLC under the hood. Hopefully it'll continue to be maintained.


How are you getting that much data off a cpap? Mine will give me basic states (on time, # apnea events) but not much else.

There are online communities dedicated to these questions. Looks like the current tool of choice is OSCR https://gitlab.com/pholy/OSCAR-code


Many CPAP devices have have an SD card which is used to record all that data. You can use OSCAR to read/analyse it. Not all devices are supported, and it can be a bit tricky to interpret the data at first. Lanky Lefty has some pretty useful videos on the subject, like this one: https://youtube.com/watch?v=5jCNeivvrjU

This reminds me, I was suprised to learn that ECGs can measure breathing (well, not the least expensive ones but most). If breathing is enough then an ECG might be one of the better ways for anyone who doesn't need CPAP and there are some available with local analysis software. They do require a prescripition in many places.

The way I understand it, breathing has an impact on heart rate variability, mostly because the chest cavity expands/contracts, which impacts the vagus nerve, which can then cause the HR to vary a bit. I don't know how reliable it is and if you can reconstruct every breath based on that data. I imagine shallower breaths would have less of an impact.

Perhaps someone more knowlegeable can pitch in?


Breathing in causes systolic pressure to drop slightly. The negative pressure in the chest cavity decreases the amount of blood that fills the heart prior to contracting ("preload"). The drop is small (<10mmHg), and generally your heart rate doesn't bother compensating for it to any significant extent. In theory you can detect breaths by looking at the R-R interval (the time between the beats), but it's a very subtle signal and in my experience it's useless in any real world setting.

More advanced ECGs can measure the impedance of the chest (which changes as you breath). This is more complicated to implement, but much more reliable.

In either case, it's not something you'd be able to measure without several stickers on your chest, with wires running to some central box. I think the CPAP would be less obtrusive. If you don't need a full fledged CPAP, you could use something like nasal capnography, that just measures exhaled CO2.


Hmm. My Fitbit (Alta HR) considers masturbation exercise.

Though, it has recorded that I was in deep sleep while I was awake.


None. Period. I was in human sleep research for 14 years as a technologist and proj manager. I tested dozens and dozens of devices- a mattress pad that claimed to track sleep. None of them are accurate.

to track limb movements you need EMG attached to your legs and then to a recorder. Then a sleep tech certified in scoring must review the results.

A board certified sleep doctor can get you home devices to track periodic limb movement if necessary.

Acti-watches are the only devices that you might be able to get "accurate" sleep(not limbs)tracking. They're expensive and you need to buy analysis software to view results. I would not waste your money on any publicly available device- they wont get you the data you want.


Really?

I get it, at the margin this is probably true but for gross results?

If I drink, AutoSleep lights up like the fourth of July. If I don't, it reports every metric is better. If I drink, SnoreLab lights up. If I don't, it's fine.

Same if I exercise, it's all over the results very clearly.

I'm not claiming they can measure REM accurately but for major life factors they seem pretty damn good.


Can you say a bit about how you know this? Like are all these trackers you tested compared against polysomnography/EMG? Wouldn't everything of course be not as good as that (since we're treating that as 100% perfect?

How do you know that the certified sleep tech is reporting good results? How do you know that the results have good external validity (i.e. the results are not due to the unnatural sleep study environment with EMG attached and being forced to sleep at a certain time in an artificial bedroom?


The Fitbit looks pretty close. I don't think it's perfect, but it's directionally correct.

I feel like for a lot of self improvement frameworks it's about direction not accuracy. Like for example, body fat % machines vary greatly, but surely being closer to the 10-20% range is better than 30-40% range regardless of the method you use. Probably the same can be said for sleep.


Are you aware of modern consumer sleep-tracking headbands like Dreem and Philips SmartSleep? Considering these have an EEG, I find it hard to believe they're less accurate than an acti-watch.

Dreem has a self-run study that claims pretty great results [0], do you have any objections to their methodology?

[0]: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/662734v1


Thanks for citing the study. Just read through the introduction and conclusion and the Dreem sounds very promising.

After reading Matthew Walker's "Why we Sleep", I currently use the deep sleep percentage metric provided by the Sleep as Android app to determine how well I sleep, and jot it down in a sleep log. The book has given me the idea that deep and uninterrupted sleep is hugely important, but obviously the app is only able to give a crude estimate.

Perhaps this headband would give me better insights into my (failings of) sleep. I hope the parent commenter replies to your message.


> to track limb movements you need EMG attached to your legs and then to a recorder

I've had this problem for many years where my legs don't relax when I sleep. So when I wake up my legs are always tired and sore. It's not serious enough to cause any major health issues but very annoying. I've visited many doctors and none were able to provide any useful information.

I was thinking of attaching EMG and getting some data for analysis. But I wouldn't even know where to start.


I don't know how good professional tracking is, but I can tell you that I definitely get useful information from my Oura ring that has lead to an improvement in my sleep. Many small things, but the obvious one is how much even a drink or two of alcohol is affecting sleep for half the night.

Obviously won't help with tracking leg movements, though. Just for a quick confirmation I'd recommend a web camera, but there won't be statistics from it.


Have you looked at the Oura ring? They claim to be the best publicly available tracker.

https://ouraring.com/ is pretty awesome. I've started sleeping more, at more consistent times, and consuming less caffeine and alcohol.

$75 off - http://ouraring.com/partners/rohannatraj - doesn't benefit me, just a coupon I received myself.


Bought it few months ago, mostly due to being impressed by the engineering side of it, then had a closer look at the data it was collecting at night and it looked very much like something pulled out of someone's ass. It literally did NOT correlate to what's been happening. It showed "deep sleep" for times that I was awake and was checking my watch, it also showed REM sleep when it was clearly a deep phase, etc.

First time it happened, I let it slide and gave it another chance. Then it needed another chance, and another... and the I gave up. I ultimately lost all trust in what it was reporting.

It's still a beautiful piece of engineering, it just doesn't do what it claims to be doing :-/


I've been using the ring for a couple of months now and never these issues. Whenever I was awake (even when I didn't move), the ring correctly recorded it. When I wake up even for just a second to roll around and faintly remember it, the ring correctly tracked it.

Not saying it's the most accurate thing because it likely isn't, but it's still far better than other trackers IMO


I've been using it for a month now and have only seen this happen one night at first, but the past 2 weeks have been very accurate. Might be learning or something?

Agree with the Oura recommendation, and there's a separate reason to be interested in Oura -- it records body temperature, which might be useful in predicting infection.

Here's a project my spouse is working on to see whether it's possible to warn you when you're getting sick using the combination of resting heart rate (from Fitbit), temperature (from Oura) and sleep data:

https://quantifiedflu.org/


I'm in this study with the Oura Ring/UCSF, that might interest your spouse -- https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/23/oura-partners-with-ucsf-to...

On more than one occasion Oura told me to take things easy because I might be getting sick (colds), and it was right. Great product.

in my experience, oura helps you understand how sick you are during a cold, especially if you have a fever

Read this and decide for yourself if it is accurate enough for you:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6095823/

Study conclusions: "Multi-sensor sleep trackers, such as the ŌURA ringhave the potential for detecting outcomes beyond binary sleep/wake using sources of informationin additionto motion. While these first results could be viewed as promising, future development and validation is needed."


Thanks for the discount, don't know if I ever had a coupon that forces me to make a decision in 30 minutes! Smart way to make a sale, give me just enough time to do a little research knowing the clock is ticking...

I was about to close the tab but then I saw they have developer tools where you can get an API key to access your own data -- very cool


I assume this is sarcasm?

All these sibling comments throwing $229 at a newfangled and unproven gimmick based on some anonymous online comment have really got me scratching my head...

Am I the only one who likes sleeping on these things before committing to a purchase?


> All these sibling comments throwing $229 at a newfangled and unproven gimmick based on some anonymous online comment have really got me scratching my head...

Social media is either making money via ads, or their making money via sales of $SOMETHING. This is marketing at work.


No. My default behavior with Amazon is to add things I might want, or sometimes even need, but that aren't strictly necessary, to the cart and then decide on them the next time I find myself in the cart with a purchase that actually needs to be made.

The way this really plays out is my wife says, "Do you want this stuff in the cart?" and then I go and remove most of it.


Certainly no - I am one of them as well, but we are minority, judging from abuse of discounts in commerce. It does work, regardless it's piece of bread or fancy gimmick we are talking about.

Thanks, just picked it up.

I usually use AutoSleep with the Apple watch.


Thanks! TBH I have heard of the ring but just assumed it was a scam for some reason, never really looked into it. Just bough one from your link. I've been looking for a tracker that's not a watch, and now that jawbone shut down there wasn't many options. Excited to try it out.

Autosleep for Apple Watch has had a significant impact on my life and I always rave about it to friends. I've been able to recognize choices in my daily life that significantly impact my sleep quality and have made changes that have improved my sleep because of it.

I don't know how accurate it is in terms of tracking restless legs unless the movement of your legs causes movement of your upper body that would impact watch acceleration sensors and gyroscope?

Quality sleep seems to have a cascading impact on the rest of life so this app has been hands down the most useful purchase I've ever made in the software category.


I second this, Autosleep has amazingly fitted A LOT of data into their screens, a bit surprising for the price of it.

As well I can relate to changing habits because of measuring sleep. I used it as a controlling device for experiment with dropping alcohol & coffee, for instance, and results were clear as day.


I...third this. Autosleep is a very well put together app and it's incredibly useful.

Fourth on this. AutoSleep is epic and awesome.

Fifth this. Love it.

5th, I also have converted at least 5 people to use it

7th, though I really don't enjoy sleeping with a watch on so I gave up on it

Do you wear your watch when sleeping then now? When do you charge it?

I have a Series 4, and I normally have "Wake Screen on Wrist Raise" turned off except for 30-40 minutes per day when I'm exercising. I'll also sometime turn that on if I'm using a timer that I want to be able to see at a glance.

I charge it in the evening, when I'm relaxing reading or watching TV. I can usually get it to 100% before I go to bed. If not, I'll put it on the first time I wake up to urinate that night.

By the time it gets to the next evening, it is usually at 55-65%.

If I forget to charge it in the evening (e.g, I fall asleep while reading or watching TV), it would probably make it fine to the next evening. In those cases, though, I'll stick it on the charger while I shower and have breakfast. That's more than enough to ensure no problem getting to the evening.


I charge while I have my coffee, take a shower, and get dressed, in the morning. Wake up, run Breath and then put the watch to charge until I get dressed.

I charge when sat at my desk, usually in the morning.

How did Autosleep change your life? Like what decision did it impact?

* It helped me figure out I usually get the best rest if I'm in bed at 23:15.

* It automatically calculates what time you need to go to bed if you're running a sleep deficit. (And it calculates how much of a sleep deficit or surplus you have.)

* Most useful of all, it gives me at least 1-2 days of early warning that I might be running a fever or flu - as I see my heart rate, which is usually quite consistent from night to night, leap 5 or 6 BPM over consecutive days.

This is especially important to know during the current outbreak. I can then do whatever I need to do early to shorten the length of whatever illness I might have (take vitamins/extra rest/fluids/etc.)

It also records a history, so you have a record of roughly when the fever starts and ends based on your heart rate, which you can then share with your doctor if necessary.


For me it was a few general trends that I focused on combating due to their clear correlation with poor sleep. They weren't new or groundbreaking, but the data really hammered home the point for me.

Basically the main things were:

- Avoiding alcohol at night entirely (and no more than 1 if it was a social event I felt like drinking at) - Running for at least 3 miles at about 70-80% max heart rate (or shorter distances with higher intensity) guarantees a night of at least 2.5 hours of deep sleep and up to 3.5 according to the app. Otherwise I average around 1 hour of deep sleep on a normal day. - I'm a type 1 diabetic so sleeping with my blood sugar at around 80 mg/dL means I get a full night of restful sleep. When I'm above 120 mg/dL I start losing quality sleep, and above 200 mg/dL I get no deep sleep and low amounts of quality sleep with a higher heart rate.

All these things before the app I had a gut feeling they were minor impacts on my sleep, but turns out they were incredibly impactful. Looking back at my time in college makes me wonder sometimes how much knowledge I didn't retain or learn due to poor sleep and health habits. Hindsight is 20/20 though.


Seconded, Autosleep works fantastically well

I recall reading a paper that found that compared to clinical sleep study equipment (you know, electrodes all over your head) that most devices were random at best in terms of measuring REM sleep. I did a lot of research when a friend went all in on sleep monitoring and wound up worse than when he started (worrying over data).

I didn't exhaustively research but based on un-biased available science I found at the time, any investment (in devices/apps) was not worth time and money. Maybe that has changed.

See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/17/technology/personaltech/s...

"For a person to be worrying about their sleep stages is like being worried about the gas makeup of the air you're breathing in," he said."

For study see https://nutritionalrevolution.org/2019/07/20/why-the-oura-ri...

""From EBE analysis, ŌURA ring had a 96% sensitivity to detect sleep, and agreement of 65%, 51%, and 61%, in detecting "light sleep" (N1), "deep sleep" (N2 + N3), and REM sleep, respectively. Specificity in detecting wake was 48%."

Specificity in detecting wake was 48%! If this was a medical test, it would never be approved by FDA."

The NYT article summed up reality for most nicely:

"Dr. Vallat told me that if I really wanted to get better sleep, I should simply try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day — that would help my brain learn how to build a structure for optimal sleep. He also advised making the bedroom a cool environment (about 68 degrees) and as dark as possible; avoiding alcohol in the evening; not checking email or social media right before bed; and asking myself each morning when I woke up, "Do I feel refreshed?""

Stop drinking and watching tv/screens and go to bed on time... don't need an expensive ring or watch to tell you this...


I have pretty big doubts about the usefulness of clinical sleep tests after having had one a few years ago. Perhaps they work well for very deep and immediate sleepers. But with the electrodes, a strange location, multiple interruptions, a sleep position I never sleep in, etc, it was probably one of the worst nights of sleep in my life. The doctor seemed to disregard all of that and treat it as my typical night sleep and based the treatment recommendations on it, which is when I realized I needed to seek help elsewhere. I've found other methods like Fitbit come closer to reality since they record the data under normal sleep conditions.

Much of the test interpretation has to do with the correlation of sleep structure to changes in your vitals, I.e., I don’t care if it was the worst night of your sleeping life, if you had X number of apnic events per unit time sleeping, that data is unchanged by the fact that you had trouble sleeping.

> The doctor seemed to disregard all of that and treat it as my typical night sleep and based the treatment recommendations on it

What did the doctor recommend?


She recommended the standard CPAP route. Instead, I chose to lose weight, improve my fitness, and switch to side sleeping. Fortunately that resolved my issues.

Now there are devices for clinical at-home sleep monitoring, say for screening for apnea. Still uncomfortable but at least you are at home.

Unfortunately, it does seem true that most of sleep monitoring devices are not very good (I'm hopeful for the head-mounted ones, but I don't have any data).

But the advice at the end of your post... I'm trying to put it politely - it's insulting rubbish for anyone with moderate to severe sleep issues.

Correct advice, in the absence of actual REM tracking devices, is to go to the doctor - sleep specialist and possibly also a psychiatrist.


Sorry... it did sound snarky. I actually am familiar with few of the apps and devices and they do just make those recommendations. They throw fancy charts and nice UI at you and then make similar recommendations. I honestly don't think the data collected factors in much. They try and get you to normalize your routine and eliminate distractions and known sleep disruptors. I truly mean that you do not need the devices in order to get that advice. If you have a medical condition then by all means seek medical attention.

A large percentage of the population has sleep issues, suggesting they try the basics is actually very good advice. Much like tech support asking you to restart the device, which verifies it’s plugged in and a host of other issues.

If that’s not working then get a full on sleep study, otherwise save your time and money.


I tried the dark trick, it was marginal at best. compared to social factors (job that suits you, regular schedule etc) it was 0.1%. At that time I could sleep very (if not more) well even with some light and some noise.

since then stopped focusing on this kind of variables


So looks like my randomised sleep times, working until bed, too warm a room, light seeping through, and glass of scotch in the evening 'routine' is not the most ideal.

Definitely need to take that advice on board!


Sleep As Android

I don't think it will directly track leg movement, but it tracks sounds, so if you're shuffling the sheets it could possibly pick that up. It's a very highly rated app and I've used it successfully myself.


It also works with a bunch of smart watches[1]. I use a Android WearOS Fossil watch, connect it to Sleep as Android, and then it'll use my watch movements to track my sleep. The Smart Alarm to wake me a little early if I'm almost awake is a godsend. This is a quick list of compatible devices, but any WearOS device should work.

https://docs.sleep.urbandroid.org/devices/wearables.html


These types of apps are great in my experience... unless you use a white noise maker or a fan.

I haven't seen Withings Sleep mentioned - https://www.withings.com/us/en/sleep .

This one is basically "set it and forget it". You put it under your mattress and calibrate it, then it tracks automatically.

I like it because I don't have to bring any gadgets into the bedroom, or remember to turn on tracking.

It seems pretty accurate from what I've seen so far, although I don't have anything to compare it to. I've found it very useful for testing various sleep interventions.


I've been using one for me and my SO and it's been working pretty well for us. Can definitely confirm that it shows marked improvement in sleep once I got a cpap

I second Withings Sleep. I've tried various other things but invariably forget to turn it on etc.

Dreem 2* is probably the best tracker you can get to use at home.

The band is not uncomfortable (after a couple of nights, it's very strange at first) and it will give you lots of insights other solutions can't.

You do have to put it on before bed and take it off and charge in the morning though. And it's expensive.

* https://dreem.com/en


+1 for this one, I am also a happy user. I needed to send it back after a week of use which was annoying, but after they fixed it it's pretty much perfect.

I did significant research into the sleep trackers before deciding and the bottom line I found out is that anything on your wrist/fingers etc. Just can't accurately tell which sleep phases you're actually in and the offsets are huge, check the user reviews and research, they were comparing all the trackers against a proper sleep lab.

So I decided for dreem2 and have been extremely happy, especially with the deep sleep stimulation functionality, since I didn't buy it because I'd have any sort of sleep issues.


Ah yes, the stims are pretty great! I don't know if whether it's just placebo or not but it definitely works for me!

I got my Dreem 2 headband two week ago and since then I am using it. It monitors brainwave EEG to monitor sleep stages. Not sure about accuracy but I see it has a live EEG which can detect even your eye blink very accurately. If you wear and see the live EEG and blink your eyes, you can see the wave pattern changes as you blink your eyes. So I assume that it is accurately detecting brainwave.

Apart from detecting sleep stages, it has other features (e.g. smart alarm) which I have not used yet. I really wanted to use sleep simulation which they claim to enhance your deep sleep. But unfortunately this feature in not available in the headband sold in USA.


Yes, I've heard it's not available in the US. I have the suspicion that it's a software limitation though, and not a hardware one (I could be wrong). Have you tried downloading the app from an European app store or something to that effect?

I had the same question as the OP and after some research, I narrowed my choices down to Oura and Dreem 2 and placed an order for Dreem 2 a few days ago. Happy to hear that people agree.

A very useful feature of dreem is that it also tracks your head/body position (sleeping on your side vs back).

When correlating the data with SnoreLab, I consistently see the snoring occurring only while sleeping on my back, and almost never when sleeping on my side.

Useful to know if you are trying to resolve snoring problems.


They are all garbage, without monitoring brainwaves you have essentially zero useful information about sleep quality/duration/stages. No amount of accelerometer/heart rate data is going to accurately reflect your sleep stages, regardless of what marketing spiel you read.

For a brief time there was a consumer product "Zeo sleep monitor" which was a legitimate EEG-style brainwave headband you would wear to sleep. From what I recall, comparing it's results to those of in-lab sleep studies, it was fairly accurate.

Sadly they went out of business as it was a fairly niche product and pretty expensive.


The Dreem is the modern version of what you're mentioning. https://dreem.com/en

Wow I had no idea this existed! I checked for competitors a few years back and there was nothing at the time, so this looks relatively new - and also quite promising. I'm glad I clicked on this HN link, thanks for the pointer.

I fear they may follow the same course as Zeo at those prices though. For typical consumers I would imagine only the most fervent "quantified self" types are going to be comfortable spending $500 for sleep tracking.

I'm interested though :)


> Sadly they went out of business as it was a fairly niche product and pretty expensive.

However, their Android app is still on Google Play, and you can find used models on eBay. There's also a cottage industry making replacement headbands (which wear out).

At least there was 3-4 years ago when I last used mine. I haven't tried it since.


Girlfriend and I use Apple Watch with AutoSleep (http://autosleep.tantsissa.com/).

Not having to set anything up or say I'm going to sleep is perfect for us, and the results seem to generally be in line with reality. I don't believe it tracks restless legs. It's really comfortable with the sport loop band.

From the limited research I did a few months ago it seemed as if the additional accuracy derived from a dedicated device was outweighed by the faff of setting it up + the additional utility of a multifunctional Apple Watch / Fitbit-type device. It felt like a single-digit % gain in accuracy over Apple Watch, which had a huge % gain in utility.


You might find that sleep trackers actually increase your anxiety around falling or staying asleep.

I used https://www.sleepcycle.com/ for a number of years while suffering sleepless nights.

It seemed accurate...but I had no way of verifying the quality of my sleep. I have heard this is difficult to do.

Eventually I got sick of paying the subscription and agonizing over my sleep data.

I spent probably six months practicing sleep hygiene (consistent schedule, limiting screen time, working out, etc) and removing myself from stressful environments. I was eventually was able to return to a decent schedule.

I also found speaking with a psychologist to be helpful here.

Hope your sleep improves.


I used this app for a few years but found it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, and that the most vital components to good sleep (time of start, length of time asleep, activity the day before, mood) can be part of a habit without needing the history.

If you want to get into the habit of sleep tracking before you buy something expensive and you have an Android phone, this is worth checking out:

https://sleep.urbandroid.org/

Sleep for Android has some problems, but it has a free-tier and is easy to start using.

For better sleep tracking, there are some mattress cover devices, which will help with the leg movement problem a bit better than SoA can. The most common one afaik is Eight:

https://www.eightsleep.com/


The two times I've tried "Sleep as Android", with different phones and watches (including paired with watch, and ignored), it has produced such utterly garbage data that I don't trust it one bit. Claims sleeping for hours, while awake and walking around (which Wear / Fit detected as walking) (with watch connected, phone has been fine here). Or missing sleep for hours (both watch and not). Or claiming deep/rem cycles while it sits on my dresser (both watch and not).

One of the reasons I bought my Fitbit is to look at my sleep patterns. (In hindsight, I only look once every few months)

The data is surprisingly accurate, and sleeping with a watch on doesn't bother me one bit. (I use a silicon watch band, the dressier watch bands would probably bother me.)


One great thing about a smartwatch is that you don't have to remember to put it on before going to bed. Better yet if it's one of the models with a long enough battery that you can just wear it and forget about it completely.

I only take it off (and charge it) when I shower or go in the hot tub. The battery lasts a few days, which is long enough for me to take it on 2-3 day trips without charging it.

> The data is surprisingly accurate

How do you know?


Can anyone recommend a good sleep tracker with a smart alarm?

I had one of the original Jawbone Ups, and it was great for this. Sadly, it didn't last forever and now they're discontinued. I did a solid search about a year ago and couldn't find anything that suited - essentially a sleep tracker with a smart alarm that's not tied to a mobile phone, and ideally with the ability to wake via light as well as noise.

(I get that the Apple Watch offers options, but it never seemed sensible to use a) use quite a bulky watch to sleep with, and b) choose a watch that would ideally charge overnight, to capture sleep data.)



A. I generally take my cheap Android phone to bed with me and check the time before closing my eyes, then check the time when I wake up. For really rough days, as backup, I will ask my sons if they know when I conked out.

B. Instead of tracking your RLS, I suggest you treat it. There are studies suggesting that iron deficiency and B vitamin deficiencies can be culprits. That helped with mine, though I have known other people who benefited from other supplements.

C. I highly recommend you start a journal. A written record of health stuff is a hugely valuable health management tool.


Shameless plug: I created an app[0] just for this, which just tracks phone movement as an indication for the sleep quality. i.e If you pick your phone you are considered awake and just logs it. It is a completly offline app.

[0] https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sleepeasy


Sleep Cycle is pretty good. I have the iOS app.

They used to use movement but now use ambient audio to determine sleepiness. It a suggestion worth looking at maybe not "powerful" enough but certainly easy to use.


I use and recommend Whoop, it's a fitness tracker worn around the wrist that focuses on sleep and recovery. They recently had their sleep tracking validated against polysomnography (https://www.whoop.com/the-locker/how-well-whoop-measures-sle...)

I suspect keeping a sleep log is more accurate than most other methods, particularly for anyone who has had a chance to calibrate estimation with a sleep study. One exception might be trackers with electrodes like Dreem (I have not tried it and like many it is a cloud thing that becomes completely useless if the company goes away, which many have).

I find the accelerometer based trackers to be completely useless. I haven't tried a combo pulse/accelerometer type that should be better but I am doubtful.

I use a Contec CMS50I pulse oximiter on occasion in addition to the sleep log. I can determine when I first get to sleep based on my pulse but otherwise it doesn't help other than that I can tell when I take it off. My estimates of when I get to sleep have always been close, although I'm guessing this might not be the case for most people.

For the sleep log, I record when I get in and out of bed (rounded to 15 minutes), when I guess I get to sleep and wake up (rounded to 30 minutes), time in bed, estimated sleep, any medications I took before bed, time I use light therapy in the morning, and any notes I want to remember about how I slept (or anything else since I don't otherwise keep a journal).

I'm not convinced sleep tracking is actually a good idea for most people (or necessarily anyone as a regular thing). The negative of a sleep log is that thinking about when you get to sleep and wake up enough to make a guess will wake you up a bit. The trackers mostly don't seem accurate enough to be all that useful. I'm not sure what most people would do with the information; it seems mostly helpful to compare different sleep medication or practices or to convince yourself that you are getting more or less sleep than you think. I suspect that just writing down in the morning how well you think you slept, how you are feeling, and maybe when you got in and out of bed might be at least as useful as anything more elaborate.


Hey y’all - I am a cognitive psychologist and entrepreneurs who had scientifically validated all the best wearables with $3.5 mm in grant funding from the national institute of aging and the National Science Foundation. We are about to publish a paper that compares these wearables in the premier journal Sleep.

Essentially the sensor capacity for all of them are similar, with the Apple Watch slightly better than many of the competitors, the form factor for the oura is best. We make an algorithm that runs on many of the devices using Sonic Sleep and we found that our algorithm on Apple Watch performs the best. The oura is good too for sleep wake. Biostrap is good for SpO2. You can also buy a pulse ox that is less consumer friendly but accurate.

But DO NOT put too much value in the sleep staging. Current state of the are is bad at this.

Sincerely,

Daniel Gartenberg, PhD


Thanks. In my appointment today, my sleep doctor pointed out biofeedback devices like Muse for optimizing meditation (to relax for sleep).

With such devices, is there a hope of portable EEG based sleep monitors?


Are some of the suggestions FOSS and/or privacy-respecting?

There's an Android app called Gadgetbridge which is open source and keeps your data local. I use it with an Android watch (I forget which one exactly). I don't know how it compares in quality with the phone-home vendor app, since I replaced that immediately.

https://gadgetbridge.org/


Autosleep's privacy policy was impressive:

> Anonymous Data Collection

> AutoSleep does not collect any information.

That's pretty much the whole thing. Apparently they do everything on-device.

http://autosleep.tantsissa.com/privacy


Almost none of them are, unfortunately, and they will stop working if the company goes out of business (that happens quite a bit).

I've been tracking my sleep quality via a DIY setup. I.e. an ESP32 plus two mattress movement monitoring pads.

Each night I start the ESP32 recording the movement data from the 2 pads that are under the mattress. The ESP32 has ADCs to collect the analog measurements and sends the movement data to a debian based SQLite db wirelessly every minute.

When I wake up, I register my perceived sleep quality (from 0 to 5).

I've been gathering the data for several months and plan to run it through ML/scipy to see what insights I can glean.

The setup is very cheap - the mattress pads can be obtained for next to nothing at thrift stores.


I'm surprised no one mentioned Sleep as Android yet... Super-integrated into third-party tools (sometimes as paid extras)

I currently use an Oura ring, which I like, but it only tells me how I sleep, I'm looking for the data around WHY I didn't sleep well.

So I'm building an app (still in dev) https://withbliss.net in order to track my day and activities so I can look for trends around what is affecting my sleep positively or negatively.

Please sign-up and I'll drop you a note when the beta is ready. Shouldn't be too long. Very keen to hear get this out quickly and get feedback.


I tried a few and I like Emfit's tracker the best: https://www.amazon.com/Emfit-QS/dp/B0158W3E2A

It's nice because it goes under your mattress so you don't have to wear anything. The results seem to be accurate, at least when it comes to detecting tossing and turning vs sleeping.


I track my sleep with my Apple Watch (with an app obviously). I used Pillow (app) for a while, but recently I switched to AutoSleep (and I'm happy with the change). The app write up states that it tracks movement, but it doesn't really deliver direct data about movement. I think it does track sleep very well, and had allowed me to greatly improve my sleep health.

I can vouch for Autosleep with Apple Watch too. much better than Pillow and does the job well.

I have a Garmin Fenix 6 Pro and I find it pretty accurate. I set the watch to watch for sleep between 10pm and 8am. Recently with COVID-19 I've been going to bed past 2-4pm. In the morning the first thing I do is check the sleep stats. I find them very accurate. They correctly track my pit stop runs in the middle of the night as well. Today I woke up at 11.43am and the watch got it right. Interestingly after I wake up and lay in bed for a few more minutes, while I'm still in bet, I also start to get bazillion of notification from phone on my watch. I feel very confident about the watch's ability to track the start and the end of sleep right. I cannot tell about the REM time but it seems within the correct ball park. There were some rough nights where it showed no REM at all. The truth is that I was pretty low energy in those next days and not at my full potential. However, when the watch tells me I had >2h of REM, I'm an energy bomb.

The body battery is another thing that is quite magical in indicating my resources. Two days ago I found myself at 10/100 midday. At 4pm my concentration and deep thinking ability was almost inexistent.

From the engineering perspective I noticed that the SP02 sensors attached to the finger, to the smart watches and other devices tracking pulse, O2 and heart functions they use pretty much the same technology to read the pulse, blood oxygenation levels etc.

There is a lot of software and signal engineering that lays on top of the sensor readings that differs on each manufacturer. To get these settle to accurately predict REM and VO2 and other more advanced activity labelings they do need a lot of data and iterations. Fitbit and the Apple watches went through thousands of data points and they do seem to be miles away now.

So far I found that with each software update the Garmin Fenix is getting a lot better at these predictions. Certainly for all these devices there is a learning curve and we are quite frankly at the beginning of it.


I have a Forerunner 45 - concur on the body battery metric, not so much on sleep. It often interprets me lying in bed as "sleeping" and recalculates my sleep time through the morning - I can wake up and see that I slept 7 hours then on my next sync with Connect later in the morning, it says 9 hours 49 minutes.

I keep a text log and add entries manually every morning. I add my best guesses for when I actually fell asleep and when I woke up. I also log when I woke up in the middle of the night and for how long.

I'm interested in using a device, but I'm skeptical of the accuracy for data like how long my REM cycle were: https://www.menshealth.com/health/a26932734/sleep-trackers-a...

For just knowing roughly how long I'm sleeping each night (and how consistent my bed and wake times are), my text log has been good enough.

I'm not even sure I should be keeping track at all. As the article points out, it may exacerbate sleeping problems by causing me to worry too much about sleep in the first place.


The best tracker is the one that fits your lifestyle.

If you don't mind charging devices, Oura ring is my top choice as it's the most accurate wearable. Fitbit does a decent job if you're on a budget, but the data is less accurate.

My personal favorite is set and forget, under the mattress - Withings Sleep.

The hard part is making sense of the data and determining what to do to try and improve your sleep - getting a tracker won't simply improve your sleep.

To fix this issue I build SleepWell.ai, that takes sleep tracker data and makes custom recommendations based on what sleep science has shown will improve sleep.


I agree with the posts saying most are of little to no value, maybe even negative considering anxiety from monitoring. I think a decent proxy for obstructions is a good pulse oximeter.

I would also recommend getting your vitamin D levels checked. The normal range is far below what you should be at from my experience. 60-80ng/ml is an ideal range ("normal" from my lab is anywhere from 30-100) from what I've read. Can start supplementing and seeing if it helps.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22583560


60-80? That seems high - I don't think you could be at that without taking a lot of supplements every day.

I think 30 is the lab normal (and it was recently raised to 30 from 20) - though a lot of people are below that when tested.


Recent research (as in the last 10 years) seems to suggest that current RDI is at least an order of magnitude lower than it should be. I have no medical background, but anecdotally, it has helped my sleep a lot. I'm generally a supplement skeptic, but currently taking 6k IU a day.

There's no guarantee that the optimum Vitamin D level is one that the skin can synthesize under even optimal conditions.

It might be. But it could also be more.


Sure - I’m just skeptical that the optimal level is one you could never get without a lot of supplements.

Doesn’t mean that isn’t true, but I’d need more to be persuaded.


A good heart rate sensor - If you're getting into REM you should see your heart rate decrease, if not then you're likely not getting the benefits of proper sleep.

I wake up a lot in my sleep, so generally I have been looking to reduce my average sleeping heart rate through exercise, diet, sleeping positions, etc - which has been quite successful. if you chose this route, remember to change one thing at a time and leave enough time to measure the difference.

Another thing that could work is simply having a motion-detection camera. The more time the camera spends active, the more you moved that night.


I have a withings steel HR Sport (but the steel series are all the same tech). It's nice as a smartwatch to discretly read notifications, but I wouldn't recommend it as a sleep tracker. It's reasonable comfortable to wear at night (like a watch), but the actual sleep tracking is lacking. Often the last few hours get updated after I already woke up and picked up my phone. Also the sleep-cycle alarm always goes of at the earliest possible time for me and I can't figure out if thats the problem with the sync mentioned above or if I'm just always in light sleep at that time.

I'm a big fan of this free android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lslk.sleep...

Among other features it records noises, cuts out all the no-noise moments and you have a 3-5 minute record of all nightly noises in the morning. As others have said here all the expensive gadgets are mostly random number generators so I don't see the point in wearing one - this app had told me a lot about how I sleep, what disturbs me, etc.


I had a great experience with original Zeo, at least as far as I can tell timing and correlation-with-next-day wise. Unfortunately, they went out of business and the headband battery is not (easily?) replaceable, so once that ran out it became a fancy alarm clock.

I would be interested to know in particular if all the gimmicky trackers these days even remotely approach Zeo in accuracy; I know for sure that, for me, the "put your phone in bed" ones don't.


I used beddit (https://www.beddit.com/) a lot, but since they were bought by apple there is not really any updates for app or hardware. It works like withings sleep where you don‘t wear anything, but it needs Bluetooth connection to your phone the whole night because it doesn’t have any storage.

So I am not really statisfied with it. The app runs on the phone the whole night and drains the battery, no smarthome features are built in and there is always bluetooth sending data.


I use Withings Steel HR and Sleep Cycle on an iPhone. Both provide useful information but neither is perfect and often conflict. I think a lot of this is due to a 4 year old that my wife and I have been unable to get to sleep in his own bed. https://www.marksdailyapple.com/should-you-track-sleep/ is a good article with recent data on accuracy of a variety of devices.

Realized I did not answer all of your points but neither tracks leg movements that I'm aware of but like another post mentions sleep cycle might monitor through sound. Biggest reasons I've chosen these are I have my iphone on charge and airplane mode and the Withings battery life is between 2-4 weeks.

Fitbit Charge 3 can go a week between charges and is super small. I looked at the Apple Watch but it's a bit of a joke for battery life being less than 24 hours. Pretty useless.

Do you feel tired? You didn't sleep enough.

Do you feel fine? You slept enough.

C'mon OP. What's a computer going to tell you that you 3-million year-old endocrine system doesn't already know?


Um, a lot of things?

A computer can give me clues as to why I still feel tired after sleeping for 10 hours every night. The right tracker can tell me what my oxygen levels were while sleeping, or how restless I was during the night. It can estimate how much time I spent in each sleep cycle, and identify anomalies in how much REM sleep I seem to be getting, for example.

Many, many people suffer from various sleep abnormalities and insight into their behavior while sleeping can be helpful for helping their conditions, or at least giving them insight into what's going on.


These things are easy to investigate without a computer. Just eat something new and see how you feel. Or open a window next time you sleep and see how you feel. Sure, telling people to listen to their bodies probably isn't going to "SCALE to 100X Venture Capitals" or whatever nonsense, but it's a very accessible and effective way to remedy most sleep issues.

My endocrine system is only 31 :/

So, I am currently suffering from toxicity-induced sleep problems from an adverse drug reaction that happened in November. Without medication it is almost impossible for me to get more than 3 hours sleep in a night.

One problem is that I now build tolerance to medication extremely quickly. As in, something will work great for a few nights and 5 days later I'm back to baseline and totally miserable.

Another problem, that my sleep tracker helped identify, is that at least part of my problem is paradoxical insomnia - where you go to sleep and dream about having a restless night not sleeping.

After some initial difficulties getting anyone to take me seriously, I'm now working with a psychiatrist and neurologist who actually understand what happened to me. By using sleep tracker data, we're able to measure actual medication response, which is much more useful for knowing when to make adjustments than perceived response.

It's also useful just knowing when perception differs from reality. I'm so tired all the time anyway that I can't tell a 3 hour night from a 5 hour night.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend the Dreem - it's a bit like a double slit experiment - the discomfort of wearing it is enough that it in itself worsens my sleep. I'd also not necessarily recommend other non-EEG headband trackers - the data is probably a lot less reliable. And the data that the Dreem exports is somewhat limited. I'm actually working on my own tool for working with it that I hope to release at some point.

Philips also has an EEG headband that looks like it might be a bit more comfortable, but it doesn't seem to be available outside the US.

As much as I hate cliches, what gets measured gets managed. And not-quite-accurate data from a wristband might be enough.


Maybe not a bad first approximation, but this approach would suggest I should be asleep always...

Sometimes information can be handy, even if all you're getting is an automated way of collecting information you already had access to.


Sounds like something other than lack of sleep. Maybe dietary or environmental issue. A lot of people who spend time in air conditioned rooms are actually mentally impaired due to high concentrations of CO2 building up in the room. I am not a real doctor, by the way, and this is not medical advice.

It's a sleep disorder- one that I probably would have been able to detect and mitigate decades earlier if I had the information I collect now (and the knowledge I have now).

"Quantified self" style tracking usually isn't going to unlock amazing improvements in perfectly healthy people, where heuristics like 'if you're tired, try sleeping more' work well. But you might be able to squeeze out some benefit- 5% here, 5% there- that you might not have captured without automated assistance.

And if your baseline is way worse than where you could be, then the potential benefits of tool-assisted tracking could be larger, and many 'common sense' strategies just don't help (enough).


I use a couple of apps in order to track my sleep. I have sleep apnea, so I like to check how much noise I am making in a night. I use SnoreLab for that.

When I don't want to track snoring solely, I use Sleep Cycle, which tracks the agitation of your sleep, and uses that to wake you up. The tracking info is quite good as you can see the amount of rem sleep and where in the night that happened. It is also good to perceive trends through time in terms of sleep quality.


I've been using this one [0], which lays under your mattress and is surprisingly accurate (have many night time wakings due to young kid). It tracks movement, even heart rate and snoring.

You don't have to charge it, nor wear anything, which is why I got it vs. any of the wearables.

[0]: https://www.withings.com/mx/en/sleep


Not a user myself. My wife loves her Oura ring. Super comfortable, with the caveat that it doesn't come in ring half-sizes. My college-age kid uses an older FitBit for sleep tracking and is happy with that.

I have no insight as to whether the Oura ring is going to give you restless-leg data directly or indirectly, but it is extremely reliable for recording other sleep disturbances in my wife's experience.


I feel like my Oura is pretty accurate. The fact it's a ring makes it very comfortable for sleeping, no issues at all.

FWIW, my sleep doctor says Oura rings are not accurate at all, but anecdotally I don't agree with him.

I do find the Oura is terrible at tracking activity like exercising, it's just wildly wrong. But for sleep it seems very accurate.


Trying to divine exercise from accelerometer data is hard. My kid's fitbit counted 2 hours of knitting as about 15 thousand steps.

I had both generations of Oura. It was good for duration and temp, very bad for stages or if I was awake I middle of night. I have had much better results w Dreem headband. It uses eeg and some other sensors. It’s more expensive though. (25 off YBVYPYSYY). It also has a sound it plays during deep sleep to help extend it. I haven’t experimented with it yet to verify that it makes a difference.

I miss the WakeMate... it was the only sleep tracker that worked exactly the way I wanted. Is there anything out there comparable nowadays?

In my mind there are 4 kinds of sleep trackers, differentiated by the kind of data they collect. I've personally used a product from each of these categories at some time in the past:

- The kind that measure brain activity, like as Dreem or Philips SmartSleep - these, in my experience are by far the most accurate and useful devices you can buy. Dreem even has a self-run study comparing the devices to a proper sleep study setup. They are however, quite expensive.

- The kind that lays under/on top of the bed and indirectly measures heart-rate, breathing rate and body movements. These are okay as far as accuracy goes. They can't directly tell you how your sleep is but they capture enough indirect information that they can make a decent guess, at least regarding how much sleeo you get. They're differentiated from the wrist-based trackers in that they can detect any kind of body movement and they can measure your breathing rate as well. They also don't require you to have a potentially uncomfortable device strapped to your wrist.

- The kind that you wear on your wrist like Apple Watch and fitness bands - these, in my experience, are garbage. Like the under/over-bed devices, they measure your sleep indirectly but unlike those devices, they capture less useful information and require wearing a potentially uncomfortable device when you're trying to sleep.

- Smartphone apps - these, in my experience, are absolute garbage. They're not sensitive enough to pick up any useful information about your sleep state. All they can really do is tell you if you're moving or not. Maybe they can pick up snoring.

If you're interested in accurately measuring your sleep state and catching things like short periods of wakefulness or the precise amount of time it takes you to get to sleep and wake up, I can't recommend Dreem enough. I've owned one for over a year now and it's been spot-on every time. Since it's attached to your head it takes a little bit of getting used to but I don't even feel it anymore.

Since you say you're interested specifically in tracking your leg movements, I think it's pretty clear that the on/under-bed trackers are appropriate for you. Personally, I use an Emfit QS for the insane amount of data and analysis it gives you but there are a number of other products like Withings. There are also mattresses that come with the technology built-in.

I would never rely on a smartphone app or fitness band. They're better than nothing so might be good if you happen to have one on-hand but I wouldn't go out of your way to buy one for the purpose of tracking sleep.


BY FAR Sleep As Android (previously called like Sleep As Droid or Sleep Droid or something -- it went through a couple of name changes a few years ago when the founder made a company out of it). Developed by a team from Eastern Europe, founded by a dude who was like a sleep science PhD of some kind. This app changed my life completely. As someone with Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder that has no underlying causes like organ failure or whatever, I spent most of my life just thinking (and being told) I was a lazy shithead and a weird kind of night owl. But this app helped me get a handle on it. The best feature for me by far is the "smart alarm" which I can set to wake me up say, within an hour of a certain time. Then using the sensors on the phone, my wearable, and the Sleep Phaser bedside lamp they created in a Kickstarter (uses an infrared sensor, works great), it can tell when I'm in a light sleep cycle and then trigger the alarm. It has always been really rough for me trying to wake up at a certain time, but this makes it easy. The company seems super cool also. I can't recommend it enough. Tons of tracking features, too (and cloud storage if you're into that). They support a bunch of wearable hardware, but it works great using only your phone.

I don’t think there’s any indication that heart rate and movement monitoring can provide any robust insight into sleep cycles, and in my experience struggle to even understand sleep start and end points. Seems like you need to go to a device with an EEG to get decent information, I’d be interested if there were studies dealing with this question though.

A sleep number bed with the app tracks sleep quite well, and you don't have to wear any sensors. I find it pretty accurate.

I concur. Additionally, the bed automatically adjusts to your sleeping position so it has a more active role in your sleep than just a passive monitor.

As somebody who usually sleeps well, I'd love to have a dumb app that notes when the last time I put my phone down and the first time I pick it up in the morning. Maybe with an option to tell it how long I think it took to fall asleep. Does something like this exist?

I have been using SleepWatch for a few months and I like it. Using the Apple Watch, it can give me decent stats, analyze patterns and suggest things for a better sleep cycle.

Given that a ton of people have recommended AutoSleep here, I will give that a try as well and see which one seems to be better.


If you'd like to dig into what's going in behind your chronic sleep issues, feel free to sign up to join the beta here: jointherest.com. You can also email me directly: ruthie@jointherest.com (I'm a certified sleep coach).

I wanted something that I didn't need to wear to bed, so I tried the Beautyrest Sleeptracker Monitor. You place a sensor under your bed and it automatically detects and tracks your sleep, heart rate and breathing rate without having to open an app or anything.

I've been using AutoSleep for Apple Watch ( https://apple.co/3dwLIlg ) the past handful of months. Accuracy seems good (especially compared to Pillow).

I have a Garmin Vivoactive 4. I love it and it beats my Fitbit Versa in all ways. It's nice since it tracks pulse ox and respiration on top of wrist movement. Though I am not entirely sure how it would work for restless legs.

I find Garmin watches superior to Fitbits in everything BUT sleep tracking.

Autosleep app on the Apple Watch is perfect for me. Completely automatic and accurate to ~5 mins plus info on deep sleep and heart rate. It only requires the presence of mind to charge your watch another time rather than overnight.

I know it's expensive, but I recommend a proper overnight sleep study in a Sleep Disorders Center it is way more detailed than the data you can get yourself (I tried).

I even used a Trail Cam to film my movements :)


I used SnoreLab when people kept complaining that I snore, I thought they were taking the piss but using it I found out that I only snore when I'm drunk which was interesting.

Withings Activite are great watches. You don’t need to charge them, just change the battery once in 7 months and that’s it. They track my sleep quite well.

Leg movement is probably hard to track. I would think that the Withings Sleep Tracking Mat might be working somewhat, but I have no first-hand experience.

I have found the built in sleep tracking of my samsung active 2 to be good. Maybe you could strap the watch to your ankle instead of your wrist?

I've found my Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 to be hilariously incorrect with estimating sleep tracking, and I miss my Fitbits for getting that measurement.

Example: on Sunday, I woke up, drove 20 minutes to a trailhead, proceeded to strenuously hike for an hour, drove 20 minutes back. When I checked the sleep log later that day, the watch had automatically assumed I had been sleeping through the entire hike.

I like most other things about this watch, but sleep tracking is not one of them.


Geez, that almost sounds like faulty hardware. Do you find it counts steps accurately?

The step counting seems to work reasonably well. At least, it's internally consistent. The same workout or same route done multiple times results in no more than 5% variation when counting steps.

But the sleep tracking has been awful. A lot of days I'll get up, sit in a chair, and will surf the web for several minutes, say 45 minutes, and the watch inevitably records this time as also sleep. It's quite ridiculous and the software doesn't allow you to edit the log with the correct time. You can only delete entries, not edit them.


Interesting. I've almost had the opposite problem - sometimes, if I wake up in the middle of night my watch will stop recording sleep and record a new sleeping session when I fall back asleep. So every once in a while I end up with two sleep recordings for a single night.

Sleep mask, softer bed, hot water bottle to warm your feet or warm the bed before you get in, (or one of those electric blankets.

Have you tried iron supplements? The evidence I have on it is purely anecdotal, but it really helped my son with his restless leg.

I'll go ahead and say it. Sleep trackers are nearly useless. Most people don't glean any useful information.

I’m using Apple Watch + AutoSleep. I only trust the hours it registers though.

Whoop seems promising, but it’s too expensive for me.


I thought my Fitbit did wonders at this task. I then moved to a Garmin - it did just as well.

I've had debilitating sleep onset insomnia (1-2 hour sleep onset latency) for my entire life, and I cured it with the Dreem 2 headband[1].

Unlike accelerometer-based sleep trackers (fitbit, Apple Watch et. al), the Dreem 2 is EEG-based. I can't trick it into thinking I'm sleeping by just holding very still.

Now I effectively get a free sleep study done on me every night, which is AMAZING for N=1 randomized control studies on myself (ex: do I sleep better with earplugs? an eye mask? how many days after a bad night of sleep do I feel cognitive impairment? how much does blue light before bed affect my sleep onset latency?). Clean data I could trust was vital to figuring out how teach myself to sleep like a human again.

My most recent sleep report from Dreem says I've logged 181 nights wearing this headband. It's amazing. It enabled the single biggest improvement to my life in the last decade.

It's expensive, and it's so much cheaper than a sleep study that only measures a single unusual night.

I've been tooting Dreem's horn on twitter for a while, so they gave me a promo code that I think gets you 5-ish percent off: GENCO

I also recommend:

* a Manta sleep mask[2] and/or blackout curtains. Aim for pitch black if you open your eyes in bed at night. Cover any small lights in your bedroom with aluminum tape (it's light proof)

* silicone ear plugs[3]. They're actually comfortable, and you can sleep on your side without them jamming into your ear

* the Coup adjustable-loft pillow[4]. Your pillow is more important for bed comfort than your mattress (particularly your neck angle). While I'm on the topic: I'm not convinced mattresses matter nearly as much as people think. The best sleep I've gotten so far is on an ~$80 cot mattress from Amazon.

* if you sleep with a partner that sleeps hotter or colder than you, get a Chilipad[5]. Kicking your leg in and out to regulate temperature is keeping you from sleeping deeper.

Also, if you snore, that's called sleep apnea and you're suffocating while you're asleep. Get that fixed immediately. You can pick up used CPAP machines on craigslist for a few hundred dollars.

Also AMA about sleep here on on twitter @cgenco. This shit is really important to get right.

I've got an article in progress better summarizing all this stuff that will be live at https://gen.co/sleep in the next few weeks :)

1. https://imgur.com/a/3FsK39j 2. https://mantasleep.com/ 3. https://www.amazon.com/Macks-Pillow-Soft-Silicone-Earplugs/d... 4. https://amzn.to/3dvoWKP 5. https://www.chilitechnology.com/


“[Dreem 2] enabled the single biggest improvement to my life in the last decade.”

Awesome, can you elaborate? I’m interested in how they combine AI with EEG for better sleep tracking. Also, have you experienced any discomfort from wearing a headband full of tech all night?

The only health tracker I’ve really used is the Withings Smart Scale. Even though it’s not super sophisticated and the non-weight measurements (like muscle mass) are unreliable, it helps me keep my weight in check.


> I’m interested in how they combine AI with EEG for better sleep tracking.

I'm not super well versed in how this works technically. My understanding is that even with raw EEG, accelerometer, and heart rate data it's not a straightforward problem to figure out what stage of sleep you're in. From the consumer side, I've just noticed a few patches they push down to my headband with "improved sleep tracking" in the changelog.

> have you experienced any discomfort from wearing a headband full of tech all night?

Nope. I was already wearing ear plugs and an eye mask, so the headband is a barely noticeable addition, even when side-sleeping.


I bought a smartwatch just for that and the result were completely inaccurate.

The WHOOP strap is the best I’ve seen and is very accurate.

fitbit or oura ring. not super accurate. it’s mostly to get some guidance and more importantly it can help you form a sleep schedule

Alarmy - Set your alarm with tasks that will drive. all sleep away from you in those lazy mornings! Alarmy. World's most annoying alarm clock. Also has cool graphic features

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

- Anne Lamott




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