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Checking out gadgets to help determine sleep quality

Sunday, November 15, 2020

I have been doing some research on something to help track my sleep.

I wanted: Something to tell me how much time I spent in each stage, since deep sleep - stage 4 - lowers cortisol and higher cortisol affects sleep adversely, so knowing more about my sleep could help me manage my cortisol including seeing what pulls it off track.

I found a couple top rated gadgets, but while reading in depth, I learned that there is no way to truly track sleep without something on your head measuring your brain waves despite the claims of some of these gadgets.

There is one device out there that does this but the price is high (Dreem 2, $499 though 10% off coupons are available in several places).

The other devices I was looking at use custom algorithms to guess your sleep stage by measuring things like movement, temperature, heart rate (HR), heart variable rate (HRV - the variance in time between the beats of your heart), etc. They can also use custom ways to calculate the numbers they put into their algorithms, like HRV (one does averages for many measurements for the night, the other does one at what it thinks is your deep sleep time). The results vary greatly between them and also between them and Dreem.

The advise all these gadgets give when it shows you had a bad nights sleep is basically the same information you can get elsewhere. But for some it encourages them to look at what might have affected their score (e.g. alcohol or caffeine the evening before) so they get instant feedback of a kind with a number which encourages them to figure out why. Unfortunately in one of the groups I looked at new people get very concerned about not getting enough of certain levels, when in reality the feedback from the device about how much of that level they got could be way off (that group says focus on getting enough hours of sleep and the stages will all work themselves out).

I decided I track my sleep well enough (time and quality), so I didn’t really need a pricey gadget to do this. But I put the Dreem 2 down on my wish list and after I finish playing with blood sugar reactions to food I will consider if Dreem 2 might be worth spending the money.

The Dreem 2 went on sale ($200 off) - I just stumbled upon that as they didn't advertise. I jumped on it - we are spending pre-tax money which also helps with the cost. Apparently they do sales regular from talk on the facebook of Dreem 2 users. Once I have used it a while I will come back to do an update.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • 4CYNDI
    Sounds like a sensible plan to me. Focusing on one area at a time will help you know better what you truly need in each area. Of course I'm more likely to scatter-shot my research than laser focus. You got this!
    64 days ago
    I have the Fitbit charge 4 and have found the sleep tracking to be okay. Not great, but the amount of time sleeping is useful and when I have dreams it's almost always shown as REM it's good enough for me!
    68 days ago
  • no profile photo MLR_00
    69 days ago
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