Personally, I feel like I sleep with my iPhone. I’m on it right before I go to bed, it’s right next to my head while I sleep (on my nightstand) and I’m on it first thing when I wake up. I use it for my alarm, so naturally it’s the first thing I touch in the morning. However, sometimes I feel like I am on it too much at night before going to sleep and I am lacking a good night’s sleep. There are a variety of sleep monitoring tools out there to help you get a better sleep. I definitely am considering investing in one of these following products. Have a good sleep!
Zeo Personal Sleep Coach ($199): This product has you wearing a headband while you sleep to communicate wirelessly with an alarm clock base. The head band is designed to determine your “optimal” wake period within a certain window of time. The data is stored on an SD card, which you must then upload manually to Zeo’s website after each night. It’s nice to know your data but it seems like wearing the headband to sleep in would be a pain and having to upload your data manually each day would also be a pain. Everyone’s different though, so it might be worth checking out!
BodyMedia Body Sync ($249 + $12.95/month): This device is primarily a weight loss monitoring tool you wear 24 hours a day, seven days a week, taking it off only to recharge and shower. You wear this device near your tricep on your upper arm, and it’s about the size of an iPod nano. It monitors how much time you spent in bed, but doesn’t take into account how restful that sleep was and doesn’t have an alarm function. Unlike other devices, you don’t have to set it. It’s always watching you and syncs via Bluetooth, which is nice. But, it might get in the way if you try and sleep on that side of your body. It’s also helpful during workouts in the evening to make sure your adrenaline isn’t still pumping right before bed. Of course, it’s not cheap and the monthly monitoring adds to it, but it’s healthy to know how your sleep affects your body and health.
Lark ($129 or $189 with Coaching): This is the product that is pictured above. The Lark is a wristband you wear while sleeping. It comes with its own charging station that also serves as an iPhone stand, although you can also charge it using any mini USB cable. Nice! This product monitors your sleep to analyze how many times you woke and how “restful” the sleep was. It gives you a rating such as fair, poor, OK and good. For an additional charge, you can pay for sleep coaching, which will use the results to suggest better sleep habits. I’m guessing habits such as what to eat or drink, or not eat or not drink, prior to going to bed. The Lark is unique in that instead of initially waking you up with an alarm, it vibrates silently. This enables you to wake yourself without waking your sleep partner and the rest of the house. My spouse was quite pleased with this and so was the dog. If you don’t awake from the vibration, the iOS app will use a failsafe alarm sound to wake you “gently” with the sounds of birds tweeting. Pleasant!
Wakemate ($59.99): Wakemate is also a wristband you wear in your sleep, that is basically a small BluetoothUSB device wrapped in fuzzy terrycloth. This product has had a roller coaster of a ride getting to market. Constant delays, hardware defects in initial release and buggy iOS apps, have all shined negatively on this product. Luckily, the device seems to have overcome its difficult beginning and is now stable and reliable. It doesn’t vibrate like the Lark, but simply records your sleep movements and then uploads them to your iOS device and the Internet when it’s time to wake up. The iPhone (or iPad) stays safe on your beside table. Wakemate’s unique feature is that, similar to the Zeo, it claims to monitor your sleep patterns and wake you up at an optimal time in your sleep cycle. You can even post your results to Facebook and Twitter. This is an economical device, but can only be used in conjunction with it’s app.