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Monitors sleep by smartbands and mobile applications

The sleep monitoring is one of the complaints that most employ smart bands to attract our attention but is certainly the most misleading because of the complexity to determine it from devices or whatever “wearables” translate “wearable / smart accessories”.

We have seen in the first part of this post different types of measurements that can make smartbands in physical activity. Now we look to see what can offer regarding MONITORING sleep.

Polysomnography against smartbands for registration Sleep

Attempting to monitor the time and sleep quality using devices such as smart bracelets is almost like trying to measure blood pressure and pulse just taking our fingers. Astandard polysomnography is done by recording at least the electroencephalogram (EEG), electrooculography (EOG) and electromyogram (EMG) of the chin . Also you can add other parameters such as registration of thoracic and abdominal movement, electrocardiogram, pulse oximetry, oxygen saturation, video monitoring, noise assessment to detect snoring or electromyogram lower limb depending on the purpose of the study. We

have two types of meters smartbands sleep by those who do it for  movement  and those who do it for information  multisensory . None include any of the 3 minimum records required by polysomnography, for them the results that we expect should not be too ambitious, though not all have to be entirely useless. I’ve tried both types of bracelets, but I have not had a chance to compare between them or with real polysomnography recordings, although others if they have done, let’s see ….

Monitors sleep by movement

Initially monitoring dream started with mobile applications that were put under the pillow and through an average application the movement doing in bed at night.Simplified mobile interpreted froma if you’re still’re asleep and if you move, is to wake up or do not have peaceful sleep …. Something completely inaccurate and that correlates very poorly with reality and with polysomnographic recordings. Also they do not give information about the quality and the phases of sleep. This type of monitoring is then extended to devices such as motion sensors under the mattress or pillow, cameras for the nightstand that monitor our movement and / or breathing.

Currently they used as a lure to smartbands as Fitbit, Up 2 and others. Do not befooled, information on sleep quality that give these enabled device including the combined records of heart rate  does not correlate with reality even remotely  and can induce excessive concern the quality of sleep if we make many minutes of fitful sleep. Only you can trust about the number of hours that tell you that you sleep (and I say more or less because not very long awakenings good measure). If you sleep enough hours and you wake up rested you do not have sleep problem whatever it says your SmartBand.

According to this little experience of this specialist in sleep neurologist who compared the medical record by polysomnography (the most accurate and the only one made by a device doctor), with several smart bands based on movement (older versions of Up and Fitbit) and a device with the clock multisensory information Basis Peak. The results were:

source Huffingtonpost

All the devices detected motion or movement combined with heart rate were too poor to evaluate the type of sleep and are most sold and advertised !!!

Instead the only one of the evaluated that used multisensory information, the smart watch  Basis Peak , gave a much more precise (not perfect) information on the type of sleep and awakenings but by no means can replace polysomnography, much less.

therefore these devices all we can hope for is to inform us of few hours spent in bed asleep in theory, and the approximate number of awakenings . Nothing more, do not give importance to things like fitful sleep or terms because not correlate with anything.

Sleep monitors based on multisensory information

These devices have several sensors that provide information and includes multisensory,  heart rate, motion detection, temperature and galvanic skin response that measures the sweat and moisture of the skin. I know there are only 2 activity bracelet  Up3 and Up4 Jawbone  (different from the previous chart was an older model), and the clock  Basis Peak . They are the only ones who approach detection sleep more precise without being accurate, automatically detect when we slept, provide information on the duration of sleep and try to tell the time in each sleep phase (REM, light, deep). Basis Ell also includes a graph of the movement we make, temperature and galvanic skin response searchable unlike Up3 and Up4. As you cansee not include records EEG, EOG or EMG polysomnographic studies, but still seem to make an approach to the stages of sleep and a better record of awakenings and time asleep.

Personally this month I tried the two together with the Fitbit Charge HR based only on the move. Fitbit Charge HR (and Charge 2)  gives a simple report and that serves almost nothing. Instead Up3 and Basis Peak apparently give a more precise information and try to differentiate REM sleep, light sleep, deep sleep. I could not use both at the same time so I do not know if they resemble in their results, something that would be nice to compare them with a polysomnographic recording.

What I have noticed is that both multisensory devices tend to interpret that I fell asleep earlier than he did (if you do not move much in bed can be half an hour awake and tell you were asleep), to detect less awakenings of real (for the same reason I suppose), and calculate pretty bad the duration of the same, several times I spent an hour and awake of the time interpreted that I had gone to sleep or REM sleep was even.
Anyway a general level I think we can target where we walk, how long we sleep and number of awakenings, at least the most important, all those who are too short not influence our quality of sleep, and have the potential to a check rudimentarily worse if we sleep when we are stressed, when we drink alcohol in the evening, or sleep better when we exercise for the day, do meditation or are on vacation. L os sensors multisensory improve enough dream interpretation regarding the motion, but still far from being accurate  at least in my experience  (and certainly not can be considered medical devices, nor intended), but if you want one is obvious you can only choose one of these two and to forget the rest of smartbands, apps or smartwatchs.


Screenshots reports 1. Jawbone Up 3; 2. Basis Peak; 3. Fitbit Charge HR

Other personal devices to monitor sleep

There are other devices designed to try to measure the quality and quantity of our sleep, from tape to put on the head, helmets with sensors of brain electrical activity, cameras watch us at night or plates are placed under the mattress or pillow. most accurate .. little but I have not had a chance to review them or try them, but remember, if based only on the move you can expect little from them. I hope to complete this task in the future with information about them. I leave you with the 3rd and last part of this entry. For more details visit fitpro.


Last modified July 11 2016 10:44:51 AM