Note — It looks like the Beddit device is no longer being sold. An alternative device is the emFit. I will write a review on this shortly.
If we have a wearable fitness device that already that tracks sleep, why do we need a dedicated sleep tracker?
A year ago I had to think long & hard to get a dedicated sleep tracker when I already had a wearable that tracked sleep.
I’m very glad I did.
The Beddit, a dedicated, contactless sleep sensor just brings a whole new level of insights to my sleep.
What we Measure, We Improve
While my sleep hasn’t been bad, there’s always room for improvement. A better understanding of how I slept is the first step.
A good sleep sensor should be easy to use and give us enough information to show how we slept.
A good sleep sensor should also be able to trigger insights on how I can improve my sleep. For me, bad sleep was nearly always related to lifestyle. Staying up late surfing social media, eating late or if the room was too hot.
At the core of the Beddit UI is the ‘sleep score’. The sleep score takes into account quality & quantity. Quality here means overnight movement, wake time and snoring among other factors.
I can also quickly see in the UI:
- Sleep quality over the night
- Sleep quality for the last week
- Overnight heart rate
- Tips on how to improve sleep
Main screen — overalls sleep score & times. The last seven nights sleep history on the top.
Sleep Performance Overnight — we want deeper sleep for a better nights sleep.
Heart Rate over the course of the night
Beddit helps me improve my sleep
The Beddit sleep score & sleep history over the last seven days are useful for gauging where I am now with my sleep. The sleep tips can sometimes be helpful.
But I’ve gotten the most benefit from the insights Beddit triggers.
What improves and what harms my sleep
With the newly added ‘tagging’ feature in Beddit, the app builds a picture of what impacts my sleep.
For me, eating late at night and alcohol are the biggest. Tuesday as well. Maybe from the change of sleep schedule from the weekend?
Note — from December 2016 this is only available on iOS.
Beddit keeps me accountable
Seeing my weekly sleep stats every time I set the alarm is a shows me clearly when I’m running sleep debt over many days.
Beddit brings sleep coaching
Beddit connects with my Physicians Electronic Health Record (EHR) network so that I can get my sleep data to my doctor. I can even get dedicated sleep coaches to look into two-week reports. For someone suffering from a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, this could be a life changer.
Digging in Deep
The sensor in the Beddit (ballistocardiography) is the best type of sleep sensor available short of measuring brain waves through an EEG device (like the Zeo).
Many studies have been done using the Beddit & comparing it with the gold standard in sleep tracking, Polysomnography. Beddit comes in pretty good at 99% — much better than any wrist sleep tracking device (see here for more details).
Note, the Beddit is used in many clinical studies around the world.
Accessing the Raw Data
Beddit has a feature to download raw data to a spreadsheet, which can be very useful for doing any detailed analysis. It even gives more advanced metrics like overnight Heart Rate Variability (HRV).
Beddit also has an API to access data, but currently only available for companies or research teams.
First thing in the morning while turning off my alarm I need a device that’s easy to use. Fortunately, the Beddit UI has that. The sleep score is clear. Scrolling down and its easy to the heart rate & sleep depth graphs.
At 99% accuracy, I’m much more confident in the sleep graphs the Beddit gives than any wrist tracking devices.
Very Active Development
The Beddit team are regularly updating the app with new features — over the last six months are tagging and trends. The Beddit 3.0 hardware upgrade has just come out with temperature & humidity monitoring. These feature rollouts will no doubt continue.
Where is Beddit lets down?
Android Users Behind the Curve in Feature
Automatic sleep tracking has been on the iPhone for over a year now but still no word on this being rolled out to Android. (Note, there are limitations in the Android platform behind this, so this might take some time still).
Not so Smart Alarm?
Alarms waking us while we’re in a deep sleep can ruin our mornings.
Smart sleep alarms work by triggering the alarm during the light sleep stages. It does this by triggering in a time window instead of at the alarm time.
The Beddit smart alarm does do this, but it has drawbacks. I want to maximise the amount of time in bed. In my experience, the Beddit can trigger up to 30 minutes before the alarm time.
Other devices like the ResMed S+ maximise time in bed by only triggering if it senses I’m slipping back into deep sleep, giving me the extra time. Getting this in the Beddit would be fantastic.
A few times when leaving the bed in the middle of the night, no sleep was registered after.
I’ve talked with the Beddit guys about this, and it looks like there’s a problem with my environment. They have seen this before, but it’s not common.
The sleep scores don’t always match to how I feel for me. There have been times where I’ve been lying awake for hours overnight, but the sleep score or graphs don’t pick it up.
I appreciate home sleep sensors are still a young technology and giving a ‘score’ for a nights sleep that applies to everyone is not easy.
The sleep tips Beddit give are limited. Other devices like the JawBone UP3 do sleep tips well, so it was a let down to see this in the Beddit.
Beddit could give much more relevant tips with the data they’re collecting.
If I was new to sleep tracking, sleep tips would likely be the most useful feature.
How does Beddit comparing to other trackers
Beddit is in the middle ground between high-end sensors and fitness trackers, so it occupies a great sweet spot there.
Wrist Based Sensors
Just because of the limitations of wrist-based devices, it’s impossible to get the same quality of data compared to the Beddit. The apps might say they’re tracking REM, light & deep sleep but these are just best guesses in reality.
Having said that, the apps with other trackers like the UP3 have a lot of additional functionality that Beddit doesn’t yet have. The bedtime notifications in the UP3 app are great. Sleep tips also in the UP3 are much better.
High End Sensors
Compared to high-end sensors on the market (Emfit QS, ResMed S+), the Beddit stands up well.
The depth of information & data accuracy may not be the same. But there are very few who would need that data.
The Beddit is fantastic value for money for what you get with the Beddit.
The Beddit 3.0, just out late 2016, takes everything in the Beddit 2.0 & adds new features, including temperature & humidity monitoring. More data will mean better sleep insights.
Note — many of the new features in Beddit 3.0 are not yet currently out on the Android app, but due early 2017.
For so long, sleep has been a mystical beast for me. I didn’t know why I wasn’t sleeping well some nights, so I assumed it was out of my control.
Beddit allows me to understand my sleep. I can see clearly that my lifestyle impacts my sleep.
Any issues I have with the Beddit are minor issues compared to the power of what Beddit gives me.
Beddit is for anyone who wants to improve their sleep — which is most people.