Sleepâwe all know it restores energy, helps manage appetite,Â protects against illnesses, and is generallyÂ essential for all-aroundÂ good health.Â And yet, research shows that nearly half of Americans are regularly affected by lack of sleep.Â So what gives?
For me, like lots of women, nighttime procrastinationÂ is a real problem. I know that I need to get to bed, and yet, I just want to watch one more episode of Mozart in the Jungle, or checkÂ my Instagram feed one lastÂ time, orâ¦ you get the idea.
Then, at the Bulletproof Biohacking ConferenceÂ last fall, I met a representative from Beddit, a company that makes sleep trackers. I was intrigued, if a bit skeptical. What was I supposed to do withÂ all the feedback? And did I have to wear anything? (Iâm just not into the wearable devices.)
Turns out, with Beddit you donât need to sport anything on your wrist or head; you simplyÂ attachÂ the device to your mattress and linkÂ it to your smartphone. I couldn't think ofÂ any excuses. I figured it was worth a shot.
Thereâs a lot to like about Beddit ($119, amazon.com). For one, itâs really easy to use. You download the free appÂ and attach the thin, flat sensor to your mattress under the sheet (andÂ mattress pad, if you use one). Itâs as simple as placing a sticker.Â When youâre ready toÂ hit the hay,Â you open the app and press âsleep.â The app indicates that itâs tracking you, and youâre off to dreamland.
In the morning, Beddit willÂ wake you up if you like. There's aÂ regular alarm (you can even setÂ a backup, and a backup to the backup) and a âsmartâ alarm, which will rouse youÂ up to 30 minutes before your desired time but during a lighter sleep stage, so (in theory, at least) itâs easier and less painful to wake up.
Once you're conscious youÂ press âIâm up,â and the app gives you an overall score for the quality of your sleep,Â as well as other dataÂ such as your average heart rate and respiration. It also makes observations aboutÂ variationsÂ in your heart rate, anomalies in your respiration, and how long it took you to doze off.
I had always assumedÂ that I wasn't a great sleeper because I didn't feelÂ as rested as I wanted to. But over the last two weeks, I've learned thatÂ I'm actually aÂ great sleeper. My "sleep efficiency" is consistently in the 90s. Check me outâwoot woot!
I think in the past I simply wasn't spending enoughÂ hours in bed. And that's one problem Beddit has helped me solve surprising well. Â The fact is, I hate waking up to a low score (especially since the number of hours of sleep I log is completely within my control)âand that, it turns out, is enough motivation to get me into the sack at a decentÂ hour.
It sounds crazy, but using the trackerÂ has cured me of my bedtime procrastination habit.
BedditÂ does have some flaws. The sensor's accuracy could be better. There was one night when I had some trouble falling asleep and read in bed for a while. I even remember thinking that my score in the morning would be woefully low. But it wasn't. Since I was fairly still while reading, the tracker had assumedÂ I was out, and actually complimented me on falling asleep so quickly.
The other nitpick I have is that the app's tips are not the greatest. Some are downright unhealthy (like suggesting you down aÂ sodaÂ when you're not able to nap); while othersÂ are more akin toÂ warnings than advice ("Sleeping less than seven hours per night is associated with being overweight and having diabetes.")
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The bottom line
If you have serious insomnia,Â or issues like snoring orÂ sleep apnea, you probably need more help than Beddit can offer. But if youâre a pleaser like meâand can see yourself actually improvingÂ your sleep hygiene in pursuit of aÂ higherÂ scoreâthen this tracker could help you finally get the rest your body craves.