5 July 2016


Sleep on it.

Do you struggle to pull yourself from your bed in the morning? If you feel as if you're just not getting enough (or the right kind of) sleep, perhaps it's time you put your trust in technology. If the thought of a robot watching you sleep was just a little too creepy, relax, because this particular nocturnal gadget only has your best interests at heart. We review the ResMed S+ non-contact sleep tracker.

We've reviewed sleep trackers in the past; usually an activity tracker that also monitors your slumber. However, those were all bits of tech that you had to wear, and many of them could be uncomfortable and not very accurate. The ResMed S+ manages it by not touching you all, instead perching on your bedside table and sensing your movements and breathing throughout the night.

The unit itself looks pretty intriguing. There are no cameras or visible sensors, and you might be mistaken for thinking this is some kind of drinks machine or Bluetooth speaker. No annoying blinking lights, no bleeps, and no bright colours. It just sits there, awaiting your sleep.

To set it up, and indeed to receive all the readings and recommendations from it, requires the smartphone app. Available for both iOS and Android, the app is dark, sleek, and easy enough to navigate. You need to sign yourself up and provide some personal details like age and gender, so the S+ can tailor it's findings to you. Once you start to sleep with the S+ regularly, you can see how your sleep is rated and what improvements could be made to enhance its quality.

We've been using this for about three weeks now, and we'll be honest that we were pretty dismayed to hear the report of our first night's sleep. A ranking from 0 to 100 is awarded to each night, based on duration, the number of times you woke up, what length of the sleep was deep sleep, and for how long you were listening to REM (joke! - how long you were in REM sleep). All those things will influence your score, with a higher number the better. So scoring really low in the first night was a total wake up call. Yes, pun intended.

Fortunately ResMed don't leave you high and dry, with the app delivering lots of helpful advice on how to improve your kip. We were told that the bedroom was too light and slightly too hot, while also being lambasted for going to bed far too late relative to our wake up time. Players be hustling, yo.

So, following the advice dished out to us, we made actual changes both to our sleeping environments, and also to our general attitude toward sleep. We started going to bed earlier, and even changing the position we lay in to drift off – all aided by the S+'s ability to play smoothing sounds that sync up with your heart beat. After a couple of weeks we were beginning to notice definite improvements to our day; we were alert much quicker in the morning and didn't feel that gut-wrenching desire to climb back into bed. Also, for the first time ever for some of our number, sleep actually felt refreshing. Wowzer.

Much of what the ResMed S+ tells you could be worked out by yourself, if indeed you were solidly committed to improving your sleep. However, you'll never get it totally right, and as the S+ is always on, always monitoring both you and the room in which you sleep, to give you accurate results. We think that anyone could benefit from using this, as the chances are that everyone could do with a better night's sleep.


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