What Is the Best Sleep Tracker App of 2020?
Do you find yourself tired and exhausted even after a good eight hours of sleep? If so, the problem is not necessarily in your body; it can also be in your sleep cycle. Identifying sleep issues is essential, but it is often tough to do so on your own. The solution? Sleep tracker apps! In this article, we discuss how sleep tracker apps work and help you observe the way you sleep. We also review the best sleep tracker app in 2020.
How Sleep Tracking Apps Work
Sleep tracker apps are often paired with devices that you wear or keep under the mattress, but you can also use them independently on your smartphone. Generally, these apps combine several features to give data about how well you are sleeping.
Whether you use an app on your smartphone or a sleep tracking device, both methods utilize a handy feature called an accelerometer. This helps record the movements you make throughout the night. Keeping track of movement is important because it measures how much light and deep sleep you get. This, in turn, helps determine the quality of your sleep.
Numerous sleep tracking apps use the microphone in your phone/wearable device. They record whatever noises and movements you make overnight, which determines whether you have been talking in your sleep, snoring, or facing other issues.
Many sleep tracking apps work hand in hand with a wearable device, such as a bracelet or a ring. These devices measure your heart rate and keep track of it throughout your sleep cycle. Heart rate determines the different stages of your sleep, such as REM, light and deep stage.
Patterns and Charts
Sleep tracking apps provide us with patterns over time that help us understand when and why our sleep issues occur. This proves especially useful when you input data into these apps, such as how stressed you feel, what food you ate, etc.
Benefit of Using a Sleep Tracking App
So, how do sleep tracking apps help us? Let's take a look at some reasons as to why they are useful.
The best thing about using such apps and devices is that you do not have to keep track of information and note it all down yourself. The app will record the time you go to sleep and wake up. Moreover, it will also record lots of other information, such as when you enter the REM stage, the light stage, etc.
With all the data that the app collects, you can finally understand what is making you tired and if you are sleeping well or not. The information is also invaluable for your clinician to better understand why you are facing troubles in your sleep.
Improves Sleep Quality
Sleep tracking apps have features that can help improve your sleep quality. For instance, waking up in the light stage of your sleep is better than deep sleep. Hence, some apps will recognize when you are in the light stage and ring an alarm to wake you up. These apps also help you make lifestyle changes to get better sleep by asking you to input data. For instance, you might realize you do not sleep well when you drink too much coffee in one day.
Cons of Using a Sleep Tracking App
Just like everything else, these apps are not perfect and have some disadvantages.
Lack of Comfort
Keeping a smartphone under your pillow or wearing a sleep tracking device while sleeping is not very comfortable. In fact, this can cause you to sleep restlessly, making the app counterproductive.
There are many reasons why using a sleep tracking app on your smartphone is not as accurate as wearing a device. For instance, a tracking device uses an actigraph sensor, which is more accurate than an accelerometer.
Moreover, sleep tracking apps cannot beat professional sleep studies that properly diagnose your issues. Nevertheless, these apps can provide us with valuable information that can be used in the diagnosis.
What Are the Best Sleep Tracker Apps?
We've curated some of the best sleep tracking apps to help you get the sleep you deserve.
This app by Sleep Cycle AB offers you detailed analytics of your daily sleep cycle using your phone's accelerometer. It also has soft alarm melodies that you can snooze just by tapping your phone. But the best part is that it comes with the premium version that offers sleeping aid such as stories and soothing sounds. It also helps you monitor how factors such as long work hours or a bedtime bath affect your sleep.
For iPhone users, particularly those who have an Apple watch, this app can be a great choice. Pillow utilizes features in your iPhone/watch to record how you sleep. It also gives you detailed statistics and recommendations and three nap modes for better sleep.
Pillow also syncs data with Apple Health so you can understand how an activity, or a food affects your sleep. Moreover, it allows you to make notes of your mood when you wake up, access sleeping aids and record your sounds overnight.
Overall, we think this app is jam-packed with features, especially the premium version, and is totally worth investing in. The only drawback is that Android users cannot use this app.
This app is particularly designed for all the snorers out there. It will help you record and measure the length and intensity of your snores throughout the night. Moreover, you can make notes of important things such as factors that increase or decrease your snoring and if a remedy is working for you or not.
The app also has an easy user interface and provides you with comprehensive charts and “snore scores” to keep track of your snoring issues. However, we wish the developers would include more features related to sleep cycles in the app.
Sleep as Android
For people who have Android wearables, this app can do wonders when it comes to tracking sleep. It's a pretty cool app on its own as well, and it includes all the standard features that other apps offer.
But what sets it apart is that the app will vibrate your device when you snore, putting a stop to it. It also has other unique features such as QR codes that you need to scan to assure the app you have actually woken up.
The only drawback is that you need to purchase the app to access these cool features after two weeks of a free trial.
The Final Verdict
Out of the top four apps we discussed, we think Sleep as Android does the best job due to its unique features and compatibility with most Android wearables. And good news for Apple users: the runner up is Pillow - we love how it is feature-rich yet easy to use.
There's no doubt that sleep tracker apps gather essential data regarding your sleep cycle. Even if the apps are not super accurate when used on their own, they still have nifty features that help improve your sleep.