The Best Sleep Trackers for Some Quality Shut-Eye

Because understanding how long and how deep you sleep at night can make a huge difference to your health.
Best sleep trackers 2022 Kokoon to Apple Watch
Photograph courtesy Getty Images; Collage by Gabe Conte

How this data is then used makes a big difference, with some apps offering deep-dive analytics as well as a Sleep Score that, like hitting your 10,000 steps, helps to glamify good sleep. We’re also big fans of sleep-based alarms, that wake the wearer up at the optimum time of their sleep cycle, to help you hit the ground running each day.

The best sleep trackers can also offer help if you struggle to fall asleep, with headphones available to block out distractions and relax a chaotic mind. Non-wearable smart mattresses can even adjust your body temperature based on your sleep history to give you the best chance of a good night’s rest and a quality sleep.

What does a good night's sleep really look like?

Your time asleep can be broken down into a cycle consisting of light, deep and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, and for you to fully feel rested you should cycle through these stages at least a few times per night. Your sleep tracking app will break these stages down for you and make it easy to identify problem areas for helping you reach a world of better sleep.

During a typical night, you cycle through these stages of sleep…

Stage 1: Hopefully only lasting a few minutes, the first stage of sleep is light and easy to wake from.

Stage 2: Your brain waves, eye movement and heart rate begin to slow.

Stages 3 and 4: You move into deeper sleep that’s harder to wake from. This is the time when your body grows and repairs itself and boosts immune function. For healthy adults, 15-20 per cent of your sleep should be a deep sleep.

REM: The final stage is when dreams occur, as your brain processes and stores long term memories. Our eyes are closed but dart rapidly from side to side, and our limbs can become paralyzed to stop us acting out our dreams. 20-25 per cent of our sleep should be REM sleep.

The sleep cycle repeats every 90 to 110 minutes and as sleep progresses, REM cycles increase in length.

This story was originally published on British GQ with the headline “The Best Sleep Trackers for Some Quality Shut-Eye”.

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