No part of the beddit touches your body, a plus compared to other sleep tracking devicesI’m not hugely impressed with the sleep-tracking devices on the market today. No device has been shown to accurately monitor the sleep of people with insomnia, and the sleep tips supplied through the sleep-coaching component are the same as the sleep tips available to insomnia sufferers everywhere.

But I am interested in the Beddit, a device developed in Finland and set to come on the market in January. Apparently I’m not alone: Beddit’s recent crowd-funding campaign raised over $500,000 from people who pre-ordered the device–60 percent of it from people in North America.

What’s Different About the Beddit

The main difference between this device and others is that no part of it touches your body. While wearing a mask or headband or wristband at night might be annoying, the Beddit consists of a thin strip (containing a sensor) that you place across your bed under the sheet and then plug into the wall. The strip keeps track of your heartbeat, respiration, and body movements. The data are used to analyze your sleep and offer information about your total sleep time, sleep staging (how much deep sleep and REM sleep you get, for instance), snoring, number of wake-ups, stress level, and so forth.

The sensor also tracks disturbances in the environment such as light and noise. Together with a few bits of information you enter yourself—when and how much you exercised or drank alcohol, for example—the data gathered by the Beddit appear as an analysis of your sleep patterns on the screen of your smart phone or your tablet in the morning. And every morning, the Beddit offers three ideas for improving your sleep.

Reservations

But the Beddit has not been tested and found to offer an accurate picture of insomniacs’ sleep. It may not be a great deal better than other sleep-tracking devices when it comes to parsing the sleep of people with insomnia. The Beddit may not be able to discriminate, says the official website, between a relaxed waking state—such as might occur while you’re lying in bed watching TV—and light sleep.

But the sleep coaching offered by the Beddit may be more useful than advice available elsewhere. With its personalized approach and all the variables the device takes into account, it might clue you in to a relationship you were otherwise unaware of. For example, it might reveal that your nighttime wake-ups correspond strongly to the noisy heating system in your house. Or it might show you that waking up too early in the morning occurs after nights when you drink alcohol after 8 p.m.

It might be a worthwhile investment if you’ve got $149 to spare.

Have you ever tried a sleep-tracking device like the Beddit? What was the experience like?

Posted by Lois Maharg, The Savvy Insomniac

Lois Maharg has worked with language for many years. She taught ESL, coauthored two textbooks, and then became a reporter, writing about health, education, government, Latino affairs, and food. Her lifelong struggle with insomnia and interest in investigative reporting motivated her to write a book, The Savvy Insomniac: A Personal Journey through Science to Better Sleep. She now freelances as an editor and copy writer at On the Mark Editing.

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