At this point, we’re all well aware of how crucial a good night’s sleep is for everything from our mood to our waistline. If you’re looking to become a better sleeper, one way to begin is by familiarizing yourself with your sleep habits—where you are and where there’s room for improvement. Enter sleep trackers. These devices—wearable and non-wearable—do exactly what their name suggests: They track what happens between bedtime and morning. More specifically, sleep trackers, like the ones on this list, monitor sleep duration, sleep quality, sleep phases, and more.
Are Sleep Trackers Worth It?
It depends on the person. If you’re someone who gets a solid eight hours a night and never feels under-rested, you probably don’t need a sleep tracker; your body knows how much rest it needs, and it ensures that happens. If you’re not a great sleeper, a sleep tracker can make you more mindful and aware of the potential reasons for your subpar shut-eye.
What Are the Limitations of Sleep Trackers?
It is important to keep in mind, though, that there are limitations to sleep trackers. As the experts at John’s Hopkins Medicine point out, sleep trackers don’t measure your sleep directly, they measure inactivity as a surrogate for estimating sleep. For exact data about your sleep habits, you’d have to do a medical sleep study, which monitors brain waves to analyze the stages of sleep you cycle through during the night. Such studies are helpful for diagnosing conditions like sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. (If you’re concerned your sleep issues are caused by an underlying health problem, consult your doctor.)
Still, if you’re interested in learning more about your sleep routine or you’re curious about biohacking (‘hacking into your biology’ or using what we know about science and our bodies to make changes to our health and get different results), there’s no harm in picking up a sleep tracker of your own. Here, ten of the best models on the market in 2022, starting with our pick for best overall sleep tracker, the WHOOP 4.0.