Sleep Trackers – Sent From Heaven Or Hell?

A sleep tracker is like a knife. We can take advantage of it BUT if we use it in the wrong way, we can cut ourselves.


About this podcast

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Topics we cover in this product:


  • basic sleep trackers
  • are sleep trackers for you?
  • how sleep trackers works

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Sleep Trackers – Sent From Heaven Or Hell?

Are you asking yourself if or how a sleep tracker can help you improve your sleep?

Well, you’re not alone.

Though fitness trackers are probably the most sold gadget in the past years, finding the right one and optimizing our sleep using them right can be somewhat confusing!

So, let’s make things easy.

Should I use a sleep tracker?

Let’s simply start off by asking ourselves if a sleep tracker will improve our sleep quality. The answer is…It depends!

The answer is not really tied to the technique the device uses or the accuracy of the information.

Firstly, we need to answer a question related to our personality:

Does (potentially negative) information make me nervous?

If you tend to become nervous whenever a source of information tells you that you e.g. had a bad night of sleep or your heart rate was a bit higher than usual and_so_on THEN best leave your fingers away from sleep trackers.

The risk that sleep trackers will add up or even build sleep anxiety is high.

On the flip side.

If you are able to distance yourself from the information and use it as a source for good decision making…

Go for it!

What do I need to know about sleep trackers?

A modern sleep tracker comes with (at least) 3 basic types of sensors.

Sensors to

  • 1. detect body movement
  • 2. heart rate
  • 3. blood oxygen levels

Going with the cheapest available tracker will probably lead to less accuracy when it comes to the sensors.

So you might not want to pick the cheapest one. There is also no need to buy the most expensive one.

Then there are different types of sleep trackers available.

The most spread are

  • 1. full display devices (e.g. Apple watch)
    • a. full configurable display
    • b. possibility to install apps on device
    • c. multifunctional usage
    • d. 1-3 days battery life
  • 2. ring (e.g. the Oura ring)
    • a. no display at all
    • b. convenience factore – only a ring
    • c. no information display on device
    • d. 1 week battery life
  • 3. hybrid devices (e.g. Withings scanwatch)
    • a. small display (e.g. display of messages)
    • b. classic watch look
    • c. 4 weeks battery life

Though there are sleep trackers available that are designed like a cover of your mattress or are worn around the head (e.g. muse), as well as special (mostly medical devices) that also detect light, we’ll focus on the above categories. These are simply the most common categories and they deliver the broadest overall value (also for fitness).

Any sleep tracker typically comes with a software app where the magic happens.

It is this place in your mobile (mainly) where all the information comes together, gets processed and displayed in an (more or less) easy to interpret way.

In regards to our sleep this means that they typically come with a graph representing our sleep and the sleep stages (light, deep and rem dream sleep) that we went through.

All of this results in a so-called sleep score – a 100% sleep score representing the highest quality sleep possible.

Important Note

The sleep score is the result of an educated guess that an algorithm takes!

As an example the sleep stages can only be measured accurately through measuring brainwaves (which the above device categories do not do).

The algorithms try to compensate for this through processing information related to body movement, heart rate and timing.

So, always take the sleep score (and displayed sleep stages) with a grain of salt.

That said,

The sleep score is a good indication whether you had a good night of sleep or not.

You can use it as a reference point to see if things that you are doing to improve your sleep are having an impact on your sleep.

Especially when you start to work with your (algorithm) sleep score – test if the score matches your own feelings (do I really feel like the score of my device suggests I should?).

On top of the information from the sensors the sleep score algorithm typically processes things like

  • regular sleep schedule
  • sleep duration
  • sleep interruptions

That’s great!

All of this can give us great insights weather the things we are doing positively impact our sleep – or not. Furthermore, it releases us from a lot of documentation work to get those insights.

Lastly, it gives us an easy to access overview over longer periods of time.

Let’s move on now…

What tracker is best for me?

Well, luckily that’s quite simple to answer.

If you want a device that has long battery life, then you’re probably best off with the hybrid models. Up to a month of battery life was a big release for me personally and I bet I’m not alone with this.

If you want to do all kinds of fancy stuff with your device you’ll probably want to take advantage of the full screen models. You’ll get far less battery life, but you can utilize the device with all kinds of fun stuff.

If you don’t like to wear a watch. You’ll go with the ring. Besides the comfort of wearing a ring instead of a wristband – up to a week of battery life can feel great too.
The magic happens in the Software app.

So take care that you decide to buy a device with good sensors and a decent app.

Going with a known brand and not picking the cheapest device is the simplest route to take here.

Let me know how sleep trackers help you to improve your Sleep and Performance!

Have a fab day
— Michael

P.S.: Are you an ambitious business professional? Looking to 3x your Performance whilst sleeping great and without tapping into the “work harder” trap in 90 days or less? At present I’m handing over 2 weeks FULL COACHING ACCESS (training, tools & even personal coaching)…apply for your SPOT here…!


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