Sleep Tracking Technology: Are You Having A Solid Sleep?

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One of the driving forces in our day to day activities is the amount of sleep that we obtain the night before. Sleep is something that everyone needs, if we go a day without it – everything else seems to become out of sync. Some people need a solid 7-9 hours, whereas others believe they thrive on much less. So how can we tell how much sleep we are actually getting, the quality of the sleep and how our body will function based on the sleep levels we do get? You’ll be surprised the detail sleep tracking technology can provide you!

Sleep tracking technology, generally wearables, work from motion sensors. These sensors track your movement while you are sleeping, so you can accurately determine how much time you spent asleep. The quality of your sleep (sleep cycle) is also tracked by monitoring your heart rate.

So if sleep is an issue, or you are generally interested in the volume you actually get, then we’ve got plenty of information that can assist you throughout this article.

Why is Sleep Important?

We already know why sleep is important, right? Well, I am going to give you a run down anyway.

  • We know that getting an adequate amount of sleep is highly important to our mental and physical functions. We are awake each day for more time than we sleep and we are constantly putting our bodies through physical and mental stress. So your time spent sleeping is your body’s way of recharging and revitalizing itself – a “factory reset” if you will, during those slumber hours.
  • In order for your body to be at a top-notch performance, both cognitively and behaviourally, you need to be getting adequate sleep. The end, period. It is simply essential.
  • Additionally, lack of sleep has also been linked to a higher risk for certain diseases and medical conditions. These include obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, poor mental health, memory problems and early death. Getting an adequate amount of sleep could literally mean the difference between life and death. So if you want to live a happy and healthy life, then you need to include sleep in the same ‘priority’ basket as healthy eating and exercise.

Related post: Does Night Shift Shorten Your Life? 10 Impacts of 3rd Shift

The Sleep Cycle

When tracking sleep, it’s important to understand how we sleep as humans. Our sleep cycle is actually broken down into five different categories.

“Sleep is not uniform. Instead, over the course of the night, your total sleep is made up of several rounds of the sleep cycle, which is composed of four individual states. In a typical night, a person goes through four to six sleep cycles. Not all sleep cycles are the same length, but on average they last about 90 minutes each”

Sleep Foundation, 2021

Below will be a small breakdown of each sleep cycle.

NREM 1 this is the very first stage of falling asleep. It is that moment when you are just getting relaxed, eyes are closed and you are ready to drift off. NREM1 is a very light state of sleep, however, it does not last very long. If you are to go unbothered while you sleep – chances are that you will move onto the next step in the sleep cycle fairly quickly. In this stage, your brain slowly starts to relax – preparing your body for the rest of the sleep cycles to come. This portion of the cycle typically lasts between one to five minutes.
NREM 2This stage typically lasts from about 10-20 minutes the first time you go through the sleep cycle, however, extends itself each time you progress through the cycle. On average, the typical person spends around half of their time in the stage during their slumber. It is during this stage that your body temperature will begin to drop and your brain activity changes. This is also the stage in which your eye movement ceases.
NREM 3This is the stage in which you are asleep in the deepest form. You are experiencing a decrease in your muscle tone, heart rate and respiration rates. This is one of the most important stages of sleep, as it acts as a sort of “restorative process” – referring back to the “factory reset” mentioned earlier.
REMREM is an acronym that stands for Rapid Eye Movement. It is named that because during this part of the sleep cycle your eyes can be seen moving under your eyelids. When you are in REM, stimulation begins in the areas that deal with your learning and memory – making this one of the most important phases of the sleep cycle. It is during this cycle that you will experience an increase in your brain activity.

“The importance of REM sleep, in particular, is attributed to the fact that during this phase of sleep, your brain exercises important neural connections which are key to mental and overall well-being and health”

Valley Sleep, 2021

As you can see, each stage of the sleep cycle plays its own role throughout the night. Each is equally as important as the next. So, what are some ways of keeping up with your sleep, and ensuring that you are getting an adequate amount throughout the different stages? Sleep tracking technology!

Below is a list of our recommended sleep tracking technologies today, some of which are very affordable and others that will cost you a tad more, but will provide enhanced benefits and detail into your sleeping habits.

Apple Watch

A lot of people have bought an Apple Watch for a multitude of reasons. For communication, working out, and (you guessed it) for its sleep tracking capabilities.

One thing to keep in mind when purchasing an Apple Watch is that the series one and series two do not hold sleep tracking capabilities. It wasn’t introduced to Apple until they created the series three Apple Watch. However, if you do own a series one or two there are third party apps made readily available that provide sleep tracking (so don’t fret).

In order to track your sleep using the Apple Watch, you need to wear your watch to bed every night. The Apple Watch stores the past fourteen nights when it comes to your sleep habits. So, wearing it frequently is important to get accurate results. With the Apple Watch, you will go into the settings and set your “sleep time.” You can set it for different times throughout the week according to your schedule. 

When you set up your sleep tracker, you need to determine how many hours you are wanting to sleep. You also need to set a wind down time, which could be linked to Apple Music (to set the mood).

During your wind down time is when you need to be getting ready for sleep! After your time sleeping is up, you will hear the alarm you set waking you up for the day. Your results can be viewed then in your settings!

Withings Sleep Tracking Mat

The Withings Sleep Tracking Mat is essentially a mat that tracks your sleep, after being slid underneath your current mattress. One of their biggest incentives is that they are not like most sleep tracking technology. With most sleep trackers you are required to wear something – typically a watch while you sleep, which can be annoying. With the Sleep Tracking Mat, all you need is the mat itself and an app to get your data. It’s also not as expensive as one may think.

The Withings Sleep Tracking Mat provides you with an easy-to-read report on your nightly sleep. This mat holds the capabilities to monitor your sleep cycles, track your heart rate and even detects snoring!

It allows you to see how long you were actually asleep, how deep in sleep you were able to get and if any unwanted interruptions occurred whilst you were sleeping. With the Withings Sleep Tracking Mat you will find it easier to track your sleep and find a sleep schedule that works for you.

The Oura Ring

Another great choice when looking for sleep tracking technology is The Oura Ring. The Oura Ring is a lightweight ring that has the capabilities of sleep tracking. Those who have used the Oura Ring have gone as far as saying that you never notice the ring while wearing it and that it does not disrupt sleep in any way. 

The Oura Ring is equipped with a brand-new state-of-the-art sleep algorithm. It tracks your heart rate, body temperature, and sleep cycles. It allows you to see how much time was spent in each sleep cycle during your slumber.

Unlike other sleep tracking technologies, The Oura Ring holds onto data for years at a time. They like for their users to be able to see their sleep data and to be able to improve sleep patterns based on what they see.

If you are interested in The Oura Ring, they have some pretty nice features coming up. In 2022 the ring will be able to sense your blood oxygen levels while you sleep – allowing for a more telling read on your sleep numbers and the quality of your sleep cycle.

Tempur-Pedic Sleeptracker

The Tempur-Pedic Sleeptracker is another top sleep tracking technology in the marketplace. Like the Withings Sleep Tracking Mat, it does not require that you sleep with wearable technology. However, unlike the Sleep Tracking Mat – it comes with two sensors. These sensors are made for both sides of the bed, one for the left side and one for the right. That way you are able to track two separate people sleeping (making it great for couples).

The Tempur-Pedic Sleeptracker has the ability to track you heart rate, sleep cycles, and your bedroom environment. Through tracking you while you sleep, the sensors are simultaneously reporting to Tempur-Pedic Sleeptracker’s app partner, allowing you to see your results once you awake. Tempur-Pedic also has what is known as the Tempur-Ergo Smart base, which is an adjustable bed frame. The frame automatically responds to snoring by raising or lowering the base in order to cease it.

The only downfall of this product is that it can get pricey. The sensors run around $300, while the bed base is priced around $1300.



The Sleepon sleep tracker is similar to the Oura ring but it’s made from silicone which may be more comfortable to wear. It’s super light, 6-grams, and most state they cannot feel its existence during sleep.

The ring allows you to check real-time data and fluctuation of heart rate, blood oxygen, and perfusion index. You can even monitor your family’s sleep conditions too if they wear their own ring.

SleepScore Labs Sleepscore Max

One of the best things about the Sleepscore Labs is that it is completely contactless. Meaning, like other devices previously listed – you don’t have to wear any type of device on your wrist or your finger to get results. However, where it differs completely is that there is no mat that has to go underneath your bed either!

Instead, SleepScore Labs Sleepscore Max is a mini-device that resembles a computer speaker. In order to get accurate data, you need to ensure that the device sits up higher than your mattress does, and cannot be placed more than 3.9 feet away from where you are sleeping. The monitor harnesses the capabilities to track your sleep patterns as well as any of the others.

With the Sleepscore Labs Sleepscore Max, you will be able to successfully set sleep goals and set a sleep routine based off of your results. Their website shows that their products have been proven to enhance your sleep quality in just one week!

[VIDEO] – whilst you’re browsing for sleep trackers, an eye mask might come in handy too! We reviewed our favourites to help you decide.

As you can tell, getting an adequate amount of sleep is crucial. Before we had all of these newly introduced technologies, we had really no way of keeping up with our sleep habits.

Now, there have been so many inventions to help track our sleep cycle. Which has proven very beneficial over the years. As you can see – there are many sleep tracking technology routes that you can take. Those listed in this article, and a boatload more on the internet! Do some research and determine what could work best for you and your budget and needs!

Have you ever wondered how much sleep night shift workers actually need? Find out here.



Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Daniel Smith

Managing a global sales team I've experienced the challenges of working at all hours of the day and night. Being a shift worker I know how tough it can be balancing everyday life when you feel like you haven't slept in weeks! Providing advice and tips on how to manage your schedule, whilst still staying healthy is where I can help.

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