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6 easy ways to track your sleep habits with technology

As the movement to pack sensors into everything we own and quantify everything we do continues at a feverish pace, sleep tracking tech is becoming more and more common. And no longer is it just a secondary feature of fitness trackers. The overarching idea behind it all is that with more information about the quality of your sleep at hand, you can begin to make changes in your lifestyle to improve it, which will then in turn have a positive effect on your mental and physical well-being.

Today, there are a handful of different products on the market that can measure your nightly rest, and each has its own specific set of advantages and disadvantages, so we’ve put together this overview to help you figure out which one is right for you.

Sense ($129)

sense sleep tracker

Sense sleep tracker is sensible in every way. The hassle-free sphere consistently tracks sleep without a wristband or remembering to engage sleep mode settings. The bird-nest-esque tracker is equipped with a whole bunch of sensors (microphone, light sensor, particulate sensor, and temperature and humidity sensor) that work to log a summary of your sleep environment. The environmental tracking data is combined with Sense’s tiny “sleep pill” that attaches to your pillow to log sleep patterns. The result is a sleep log that is displayed on Sense’s mobile app to give you a comprehensive sleep grade and provide a snapshot of how the bedroom environment factored into your sleep. With a 12 month battery life, Sense requires less maintenance than that cactus you got from your sister three years ago. Sense was crowdfunded on Kickstarter and is available February.

Misfit Beddit ($149)

Misfit Beddit

Beddit tracks your body using a technique called ballistocardiography (BCG). In other words, yes, this device is using more than one variable to give you a snapshot of your night’s sleep. The result is a fairly accurate recap of your heartbeat, respiration, and movements while you’re in bed. The device comes in the form of a slim, flexible strip that you attach to your mattress, ideally beneath a pillow or memory foam mattress topper. This design has to two distinct advantages: there’s no need to switch it on at night, and you don’t need to wear any kind of tracker while you sleep. What’s more, the tracker works well with Misfit’s other products including a LED bulb and automatically switch on in the morning when you’re at your lightest stage of sleep.

Sleep Number SleepIQ Kids Bed ($1000)

Sleep Number Sleep IQ Kids Bed

At CES 2015, Sleep Number introduced the SleepIQ for kids. It makes a lot of sense, considering how important sleep is for the the little ‘uns. It’s a mattress with a fully integrated sleep monitor that allows parents to monitor their child’s sleep patterns from an app. It’s identical to the SleepIQ mattress which we’ve written about, except this one has a few incentives to please the tykes, including gold stars for a good night’s sleep and a “monster detector” feature that illuminates the space under the bed when the kid wakes up. The mattress will monitor sleep without the need for a bracelet or mattress pad. The bed comes equipped with a night light that parents can turn-off remotely when the child falls asleep. Parents can even receive alerts when their kid leaves the bed. The SleepIQ will be available sometime this year.

Related: A bed that promises to banish monsters and track your kid’s sleep patterns

HugOne Family sleep monitor ($169)

HugOne Sleep Tracking App

The HugOne family sleep monitor is a little like the minivan of the sleep monitoring world. It’s not probably not going to provide the most accurate data, but it will provide a non-invasive, affordable way to monitor your family’s sleep. Read, no wristbands or mattress pads. And it’s actually quite affordable, the HugOne Hub ($169) connects to cracker-sized sensors called “mini hugs” (the box includes two mini hugs, additional mini hugs can be purchased for $30) to monitor your family’s sleep patterns and sends alerts when a someone wakes or when the air quality has dipped below a certain point. MiniHugs are essentially cracker sized sensors that are placed at the corner of each bed to log data on HugOne’s app, which is available for Android and iOS. Like other monitors, the Hub also will alert you when it’s a good time to wake up based off sleep cycles. The HugOne will be available sometime this spring.

Basis Peak One ($200)

Basis Peak One Smartwatch

Most wearables provides sleep tracking, sure, but don’t automatically sense when you begin to sleep. That is precisely what Basis Peak does. The smartwatch from Intel that is all about non-stop monitoring. Equipped with a fine-tuned heart rate monitor Basis Peak is one of the most nuanced sleep monitoring wearable to date. It can automatically tell when you fall asleep so there’s no need to make adjustments or clicking required. The sleep tracker logs your REM cycles and displays your sleep data on an app. You can also download software to make the Peak read your phone notifications.

Related: Basis Peak unveils Peak Fitness

Withings Aura ($300)

Withings Aura

The Aura is a lot like Beddit, but also comes with a few more features. As with Beddit, the Aura comes equipped with a ballistocardiography sensor pad that slips under your mattress and tracks movement, heart rate, and respiration – but this pad is also attached to a color-changing wake-up light and speaker. Using these two components in tandem, Aura can sense when you’re in bed and emit wavelengths of light that help you fall asleep faster, and also determine when you’re about to wake up and flick on a blue light wake you at the best possible time. Your sleep data will automatically plug into Withing’s first-rate app, Health Mate will display your light and deep sleep, total sleep time on a graph and will even host other Withings products including the Pulse O2. Here’s the bad news, the Aura only works with iOS.

Related: Withings Aura will wake you up with science