Insights beyond the wall of sleep
Sleep tracking devices are an early win for consumer wearable technology, proving popular thanks to their ability to provide personal insights from beyond the wall of sleep.
Using sleep tracking to understand potentially-related health issues has given casual users of wearable tech deeper insights into sleep – for example, by using the “night mode” setting for a Jawbone, Fitbit or other smart wristbands.
Jawbone even offers a smart alarm, based on sleep patterns, to provide a wake-up call during a period of light sleep – because we all know it hurts to be woken in the middle of a deep sleep cycle.
Wearables firms Misfit and Withings are both taking an off-wrist approach to the science of sleep tracking, with Misfit’s Beddit using reports from a mattress-based sensor connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth LE (this is a good example of an “Internet of Things” (IoT) device, in case you wondered).
As WTW reported last summer, the initial findings from even a humble smart wristband can lead to further health-related discoveries – and we’re glad to report that medical measures to tackle sleep apnea are working, at least most nights.
Cut the booze and turn off the computer
It seems that experts on polysomnography, otherwise known as the study of sleep, agree that there are couple of big things that can be done by anyone in search of a good night’s sleep: Avoid alcoholic beverages for several hours before going to bed (so much for the nightcap…) and stop staring into a brightly-lit computer display (although we love the f.lux app for dimming screen brightness after dark). Both are widely acknowledged to disturb natural sleep patterns.
As WTW reported recently, Miami-based firm Philip Stein is trying to harness the magic of natural wave frequencies to aid natural sleep, in the form of a wearable technology bracelet.
The Philip Stein Sleep Bracelet is said to stimulate the body’s production of the Melatonin hormone, which is produced naturally by the human body when falling asleep …
Over the next month, we’re going to put the bracelet through its paces, to see whether it is really able to help with a good night’s sleep.
With more than a year’s worth of sleep patterns tracked via Fitbit Flex, we’ll be able to use at least a dash of cod science to tell whether or not the US $375 gadget is able to make a discernible difference …
Good night John Boy*.