Last updated: October 19, 2016
I know I am not a good sleeper, never was. Paired with my bouts of insomnia and wacko dreams, I've got a snorer for a husband (sorry honey), and a cat who finds maximum coziness by sleeping between my legs… horizontally! Along with an earache and a case of bow-leggedness, sleep deprivation is a constant issue.
I thought Beddit sleep tracker could give me some professional insight into what my body's dealing with overnight, and perhaps help me get as good a night's sleep as the others in the household. For about $120, the device seemed cheaper than getting a physician and a prescription for sleeping pills and more convenient than finding another room where I could sleep. (Disclosure: I live in a studio apartment).
I took the device from the neatly packed, small box and gave it a once over. It was small, thin, and lightweight. The sensor strip seemed like a good size to cover one half of my queen size mattress so I figured it wouldn't pick up any info from my husband's side.
The directions for use seemed simple: Basically stick the sensor strip to the mattress under the sheet and download the app. I've got an iPhone which it works with and it's also compatible with Android devices. One small issue. Recall I live in a studio apartment? We've got a Murphy bed, you know the type that folds into the wall. So I had to make sure the cord wouldn't get damaged each time we "put the bed up" in the morning. Perhaps I am not the average user. Nonetheless, I figured it out. Point one.
Next I realized I needed to have an outlet for this gear right next to the bed. Luckily, that worked out. But I also needed my iPhone charged overnight to be sure that the juice didn't run out as the Beddit app ran all night. OK, that too, under control. I plugged in an extra charger by my bedside to be sure I had enough power to last through the night. Point two.
I peeled off the sensor strip from its plastic paper cover and stuck on my mattress under the sheet. You can't feel the thin strip under the sheet whatsoever. The extra wires protruding out from the side of the bed from the sensor were a bit worrisome, as my cat usually likes to fuss with strings and assorted dangly things. But he didn't touch them overnight. (Hint: At least someone got a restful night's sleep.)
Next the app. Luckily, that was super-easy—and fast—to install. A few basic questions (age, sex, height, weight) and I was done—plus interested to see the results of sleep night #1. As I got into bed, I pressed "sleep" on the app and apparently the program began to take my sleep measurements.
Well, it took me over an hour to fall asleep—partly due to watching You Tube videos and checking my email and Facebook. (Yes, I know these are things I shouldn't do in bed.) And sure enough, Beddit did in fact report in my morning's results the long time I took to fall asleep.
Besides my breathing and heartbeat data, Beddit reported that I awoke twice overnight. And yes, proudly, I snored zero times. My sleep score? A 94 out of 100. How can this be? Does the rest of the world sleep so terribly that taking forever to slumber and waking multiple times overnight puts me on the honor roll of great sleepers?
Night 2. I got a 100 sleep score, with Beddit reporting that I didn't wake at all overnight. The problem? It wasn't true. For one, I had to get up and roll over so my cat could find the perfect position. (This happened quite a few times, but he's so cute so I can't get angry). I was also woken up by my poor hubby fumbling around for allergy pills at 3 am.
I got similar results all week, and while I was pleased with my breathing and heart rate results, I am genuinely not sure I can rely on Beddit's information. Sure, the device has some neat features like a gradual-awaken alarm clock, which you can set through the app, plus personalized tips for a better night's sleep. You can also see your sleep patterns and progress by logging into the app or going online to your personal webpage.
But I have misgivings about a device that gets so much so wrong. Perhaps if Beddit actually touched the user's skin, readings would be more accurate. In the end, though, I think I'll sleep better actually knowing I am just not a good sleeper.