By Antonio Malara
I have a full time job based on shifts. To be honest I always had jobs of this kind simply because in this way I don’t have to wake up in the morning. Of course the bad thing is that you can’t have a regularity about your sleep. Years ago I started to be curious about my average of sleep and every morning, after I wake up, I wrote on a calendar the hours of sleep I had had. It was a manual way and after a couple of months I stopped to do it. I remember that the average was around six hours for night if I’m not mistaken, not so much anyway.
A couple of years ago when I bought the Body Cardio by Whitings I saw that they also had in their products a device which measured the not only the hours of sleep but also the quality, the kind and other things. I was interested about the product but I was skeptical at the same time, thinking that it couldn’t deliver the right measurements. This thing along with the price tag which was high in my opinion, made me put “sleep” on the wishlist hoping for a future discount. I signed up to the mailing list dedicated to the device so I could have known in advance for promotion. When I found out that the device would have been discounted for the Black Friday 2019 I decided that it was the right time. 25% off wasn’t too much but I bought “sleep” for 77€ (I don’t remember anymore the price it has on the launch years ago but I think it was more expensive) which is a good deal.
Sleep comes in a small box and inside there’s the device, a couple of plugs and a four page manual. The device is a mat of about one meter long, inside one edge there’s the small box with the sensors, on the other side the usb wire. Installation is really easy, it’s enough to put the side of the mat where there are sensors just above the cot and under the mattress. The sensors must be at the same level of your heart, not hard to do it. Once you plug it in, it’s automatically powered on. If you have a Withings device you already have the “Health Mate” app in your phone, otherwise you have to download it. On the app you have to tap “add new device”, you choose “sleep” on the list and you go on. Even the installation is easy, at some point you have to type the password of your wi-fi network and the last thing the app does is the calibration. This process takes around ten minutes and I think it activate and adapt the sensors to its new position. At this point the device is ready, the only thing you have to do is going to sleep and see the results on the app the next morning. Keep in mind that it’s better to power off the device when you use the bed for other things and that the calibration process starts again automatically once you power it on again, it's better to wait around ten minutes before to go to bed in this case.
Sleep monitoring is not only about sleep cycles, tracking heart rate and detecting snoring, but it goes beyond. The device is also capable to separate the kind of sleep, deep, rem and light. And it ain’t all, the device also gives you other six information about the duration, the recovery, interruptions, the regularity, the time to sleep and the time to get up. When you open the app in the morning you also see in the app the score! This is assigned by making an analysis about the recovery, so it can happen that you sleep fo 9 hours but you have a lower score in comparison to another night when you slept 8 hours. This because if you have more deep sleep in that night you slept 8 hours you had a better rest. You can really spend an half hour on the app in the morning for all the detailed informations you have, included of course the average of sleep which is divided by weeks and weekends.
So this is what the device promises but what about the results, are they real? Well after over one month of use I can say that “sleep” it’s impressive and super accurate. It detected all the times I interrupted my sleep (I often get up to drink water during the night), it gave me the informations about my time to sleep which is not good because it takes me around 20 minutes for me to fall asleep and unfortunately I found out that my average of sleep is around 6 hours and a half.
I don’t know what kind of sensors the device uses and how they actually work but I have to say that they do the job very well. The experience using “sleep” is positive and it really helps you to improve the bad habits. Now I’m trying to pay more attention about the time I go to bed and plus I can determine at what time in the night I had that particular dream which relaxed me or made me anxious. I’m glad that this time my thoughts were wrong, I thought that “sleep” was more a toy while I can say that the device worths all the money. If you’re curious about your sleep, if you want to improve it or if you just like analysis I suggest you this device, it will impress you.
Photo: Antonio Malara