I’ve always been fascinated with sleep, especially after I read a book on lucid dreaming. The trouble with sleep is that as one gets older, we tend to lose the ability to wake up feeling refreshed. The quest for a good night’s sleep can lead one to take pills, buy expensive special beds with numbers, or even seek out the power of The Sleep Fairy. That’s why I was so excited when SLEEPTRACKER sent us one of their watches to review – could it actually wake me up feeling refreshed?
What’s in the Box?
The SLEEPTRACKER watch and the manual. (No silca gel packs this time.)
What’s Good About It?
So how exactly does this watch work? There is an accelerometer inside that senses motion. Throughout the night everyone tosses and turns as you go through sleep cycles and different stages of sleep. During these brief periods of restlessness, people are close to awake in shallow stages of sleep. If a stimuli (the alarm) is introduced at those times, the wearer is already in a light stage of sleep so it is easier to get up.
Using the SLEEPTRACKER is very straightforward and simple. Once the initial time is set, you set your desired wake-up time, your “Window” (the default is 20 minutes) and your “To Bed” time. Your sleep window is the window of time in which you will allow SLEEPTRACKER to wake you. If your alarm time is 5:00am, and the watch detects you are in a shallow sleep state at 4:40, the alarm will go off at that time. A “Data” screen allows you to see the times during the night that the watch detected movement – which is really fun to look at and chart. I wake up at 2:06AM more times than could be coincidence – aliens maybe? The glow button makes the face emit the standard greenish “indiglo” glow…or was that the glow from an alien craft?!?
Alright already – does the SLEEPTRACKER actually work? Yes, about 80% of time. The first time I used it, I woke up feeling better than I had in years. I was amazed by how I felt like I had actually slept. I take more time than the average reviewer when reviewing a gadget. The reason I do this is to get a real feel for the product; learn the “in’s and out’s,” figure out any weaknesses in design or function, and generally make a solid assessment. It’s important to me to maintain the quality of reviews on GadgetMadness, and not just look at a gadget for a few seconds and write a quick evaluation. I can honestly say that the SLEEPTRACKER works; while it won’t fix any sleep disorders you may have, it will help you to wake up feeling like you got a good night’s sleep.
What Could Be Improved?
A few things. First off, this watch SCREAMS for a lock or hold switch. During the time I tested this watch, there were several times the buttons were mashed while I slept, which turned the alarm off. This did not happen often, but a hold switch would solve the problem. Also, I tend to sleep with my arms under the covers. The one alarm sound this watch uses is moderately loud, but not deafening. If you are a sound sleeper, the alarm noise muffled under the covers won’t wake you. The addition of a louder alarm would be great, or a setting for “soft,” “medium,” and “sleeps like the dead” (with the current alarm being medium.) In addition to these improvements, I’d love to see a USB port on the next model to allow me to download my sleep patterns to PC. An application that could let you track your sleep habits would be very cool, and would probably allow most of us to see how little sleep we actually get compared to what we need.
GadgetMadness Verdict: 80% Better Than The Sleep Fairy
I own 12 jillion watches – shown above are the ones I wear most often. As much as I wanted it to, the SLEEPTRACKER couldn’t replace my regular alarm clock. However, as an alarm clock enhancement it’s invaluable – it will wake you at the right moment, which leaves you feeling like you slept great. I would always take my watch off at night before going to bed, now I keep the SLEEPTRACKER on my nightstand and put it on before going to sleep.
More photos in the Image Gallery: SLEEPTRACKER Watch