The beeping of the alarm clock wakes me every morning and makes me wish for the weekend. Bleary eyed, I roll over, slap it, and contemplate going back to sleep but drag my tired self out of bed and prepare the steady stream of caffeine that I need to get me going. Each night I vow to go to bed earlier and I don’t.
SleepTracker probably had been watching my late night Tweets when they pitched me about trying their watch-like device ($179) that monitors sleep cycles and wakes users at their best waking moments. Best waking moments? Apparently those really do exist! By monitoring signals from my body, the internal sensors in the SleepTracker detect slight physical signals from my body and determine if I am asleep or awake. SleepTracker monitors my signals and sleep cycles to wake me at my most almost-awake moments.
Before you think I have gone off the deep end (or am just truly sleep deprived), SleepTracker helped me understand more about sleep cycles. When you sleep, your body goes through a series of sleep cycles. The average adult experiences 4-5 full sleep cycles over an 8-hour period. Each cycle lasts about 90-110 minutes and comprises five different stages. Here’s the rundown about sleep cycles from the SleepTracker site:
- Stage 1 of your sleep cycle- You sleep lightly.
- Stage 2– Your sleep gets progressively deeper.
- Stages 3 and 4 (also known as “Delta Sleep”)- You sleep most heavily; this is when your body rebuilds itself.
- Stage 5 (also known as REM-rapid eye movement sleep)- Marked by extensive physiological changes, such as accelerated respiration, increased brain activity, rapid eye movement, and muscle relaxation. People dream during REM sleep.
The idea behind SleepTracker is that it uses the stages of sleep to find the most optimal almost-awake moment during your sleep cycle. By monitoring your sleep cycle for these optimal waking moments that occur during your present alarm window, SleepTracker awakens you at a time when you are most alert.
Yes, but does it work?
When I first got the device, I had to admit that I was skeptical. Even the Ladies’ SleepTracker Elite just looked like an oversized wristwatch and I wasn’t sure that it was really capable of really doing what it claimed. It didn’t help that Tech Savvy Daddy joked that the only way it would work is if it kicked me off of the computer and tucked me into bed each night as I was setting it up.
Nevertheless, I entered the time by which I am usually asleep (1 am!) and set an alarm. I also set a 30 minute window for the SleepTracker looks for my most awake times so I could be up by 6:30 am. Then I put it on and went to sleep.
The very first morning I woke up to a gentle buzzing on my arm. I did feel less sleepy but thought it could be the placebo effect of wearing a watch on my wrist that was supposed to help me feel less tired. I went to sleep that night still doubtful but awoke feeling, well, awake! While I didn’t exactly jump out of bed, I wasn’t dragging either. The fact that I can now wake up after a typical 5-6 hours of sleep and really feel awake is amazing.
If I wanted to, I could delve into the data that is collected each night while I sleep to figure out if there I have any habits that are detrimental to my sleep. While SleepTracker doesn’t have a Twitter tracker to record the number of minutes that late night Tweeting keeps me up, it does feature built in data review so you can use the buttons to review almost-awake moments. It records and stores my almost-awake times for one day. It also comes with a USB plug to clip to the device to the computer to upload each night’s sleep cycle information. Currently SleepTracker’s software is only for PCs only but there is a Mac version coming out in February 2010 or earlier.
After using SleepTracker for 2 weeks now, I can say that I am no longer a skeptic and am certainly glad that SleepTracker found me. While the device is expensive ($179), I don’t have to give up the late night blogging and Tweeting in order to wake up feeling more refreshed!
Win your own SleepTracker to wake up feeling refreshed!
Go to the SleepTracker website and leave a comment about something you learned about SleepTracker and how many hours a night you typically sleep. Everyone who enters to win will get a 30% off code just for commenting so please leave your e-mail in the comments so your code can be sent to you.
For extra entries do any of the following:
• Tweet this: @TechSavvyMama wants me to sleep better with her @SleepTracker device giveaway! Enter to win here: http://www.techsavvymama.com
• Fess up and leave a comment telling me how many hours of sleep you get each night. I told you. It is only fair!
• Add my button to your site and leave a comment with your URL so I can find it
• Subscribe to my blog via e-mail and leave a comment letting me know you have done so!
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama