It takes me on average 45 minutes to fall asleep at night. I know this because for the past month I've been using a sleep tracker, but it's not aor . It doesn't go on my wrist or sit on my night table. It rests on my bed.
I've been using the Beddit Sleep Monitor Classic. This $119 (£75, AU$160) sensor is placed directly on top of my mattress and is able to analyze my sleep at night. There's no wristband or wearable of any sort: the Beddit is completely wireless.
Yes, its tracking abilities are quite impressive, but after a month of use I'm still left unsatisfied. The Beddit can record a large amount of data, but a few sensor and measurement problems made me realize it's not for me -- and probably not for you.
What is it?
There are two Beddit products: the $150 Sleep Monitor Smart, and the $119 Sleep Monitor Classic. They look identical and function the same way, relying on a small pressure sensor that lays between your sheet and mattress. The one difference is that the Smart version can automatically track your sleep, while the Classic model must manually be put in sleep mode each night. I used the non-automatic, less-expensive Classic.
The Beddit sensor is about the same size and thickness as a piece of duct tape, but it can do more than your average Fitbit or Jawbone. It's capable of measuring total sleep time, resting heart rate, respiration rate, how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you got up, and the amount of deep sleep achieved.
The Beddit pairs to your iPhone or Android device over Bluetooth, and an in-app button on your phone can start or end sleep tracking. The Beddit can also monitor snoring, but it uses the microphone on your smartphone to listen.
Sleeping with the Beddit
Sleeping with the Beddit didn't deliver the enjoyable experience I had expected. Between false and inconsistent readings, I also had an issue with creases on the sensor. A simple Google search revealed that this appears to be a common problem.
Installing Beddit is incredibly easy at first. You remove the adhesive tape on the back of the sensor, lay it across your bed, then plug it into the wall outlet. I used the the sensor for the past month and found that the adhesive can begin to lose its hold. A piece of double-sided tape fixes this issue.
A more challenging problem was finding the right position for the sensor to avoid false data recordings. Beddit recommends if you're sleeping with someone to leave at least a six-inch gap between the two of you to avoid false recordings. So much for cuddling.
When it's time for bed, you have to enable sleep mode through the mobile app. It takes seconds, but you have to remember to do it before bed, and then turn it off in the morning. I've forgotten to either turn it on or shut it off a number of times now. The automatic Smart model fixes this, but it's really frustrating with the version I tested.
I also tossed and turned during my first night with the Beddit, mostly because the sensor creased. I felt like I could feel the strip's slight creases through my mattress cover and sheet as I slept, and it drove me crazy for almost an hour. The instructions recommend flattening the sensor on a desk or under a pile of books: I did this for two days to ensure it would be as flat as could be, but the creases remained. I got used to it after a while, but it's a little weird.