Today I am going to take a look a slightly different product to what we normally review at Play3r – a sleep tracking system, dubbed the ResMed S+. ResMed is a renowned brand in the medical arena, having been founded in 1989 to produce products to aid sleep issues such as sleep apnoea. Now they are breaking into the consumer technology market with the S+, to improve the quality of our sleep by monitoring and tracking how we currently sleep, to then offer suggestions to help improve it.
We all know that a solid night’s sleep is incredibly beneficial to our well-being, so I am interested to test the S+ out, but first, what is the S+, and how does it work? Well, basically it has inbuilt motion sensors that can detect movement in the upper body. Clever algorithms in the software can closely monitor the regularity of your breathing and movement to determine what level of sleep you are in: Awake, Light, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) or Deep. The app assesses your sleep and provides you with a score out of 100. ResMed are so confident in the S+ that they say those with below average scores can increase their amount of quality sleep by 45 minutes after a week using of using it.
For those that have difficulty getting to sleep, or waking up, the ResMed S+ features a “Mind Clear”, “Relax to Sleep” and “Smart Alarm” function via the app, to aid a decent night’s sleep. Before I go into this further, let’s take a look at this interesting device.
ResMed S+ Closer Look
The reverse of the S+ is blank except for a micro USB port, which is required to power the device using the supplied PSU. ResMed have been thoughtful enough to include a spare USB port on the plug, so you can charge other devices with it, although it’s only rated at 800mA.
ResMed S+ Sleep Tracker App
Once you have powered on the S+ and set it up pointing at your chest at an arm’s length away, you must run through the configuration process on the app, which can be downloaded from the App or Play store for Apple or Android devices. Before you can use the device you must login or create an account with ResMed.
When logged in, you need to create a profile for your sleep and bedtime. To create this profile, the app asks a number of questions.
So that’s it setup for your profile. You can now see the how it tracks motion by showing a line. It is incredibly sensitive, so it can accurately monitor your sleep. You can use this realtime monitor to help settle your breathing pattern.
When you’re ready to hit the sack, you simply hit sleep, where the app will then ask you a few questions about your day, such as the amount of exercise, how much caffeine and alcohol has been consumed. You can also check the past S+ mentor advise and history and use the “Mind Clear”, where you can record notes to free them from your mind. You can then pick these up again in the morning – very useful. After you have answered the questions, you simply leave the device running the app within arms reach, as you’ll need to hit the stop button once you have woken up.
At any time during the day, be it before you go to bed or on your lunch break, you can use the “Relax” feature, which plays music to a certain beat, so you can align your breathing with it to help you settle down – a useful feature for those with high anxiety or stress levels.
When you have captured a night’s sleep, the app presents you with a score out of 100, taking into consideration your REM and deep sleep. It’ll portray your results in a graph or pie chart. You’ll be able to see the times you were awoken and any other disruptions.
ResMed S+ Sleep Tracker Usage & Conclusion
I used the ResMed S+ to monitor my sleep over a period of approximately a month, so that I could get a good idea of how it worked – from the suggestions it makes, to determining the accuracy of the tracking. I must confess, I really did put the device to the test as I am currently sharing my bed with my pregnant partner, who is forever getting up in the night to go to the toilet. ResMed have managed to get around the possibility of this interfering with the results, by only focusing on your upper body – so that it doesn’t pick up the movement of anything else. Whilst it did this very well, it did also record each time I was disturbed by my partner getting up.
Whilst the tracker does record the light levels and temperature, I feel these could be factored into the results of your night’s sleep. Did it get too hot so you woke up? Was there any bright lights from lightning or something else nearby? I feel it could provide better feedback on your disturbances, so you can help minimise them in the future.
The tracking of my sleep was pretty accurate considering it is a non-contact system. Comparing the results with my Fitbit Blaze, you could see the correlation between them both and if anything the S+ was much better at recording the different states of sleep I was in.
Over the course of testing the device and associated app, I did find that I was a lot more aware of when I was going to sleep, what I had done leading up to going to bed and my consumption of caffeine during the day, which believe it or not, this did play a big factor in the time it took me to get to sleep. One of suggestions the app made said I should cut down on the number of cups of coffee I have in a day, resulting in a much shorter period of time for me to get to sleep. Whilst the app is pretty poor at showing your results across the week or month, it was noticeable that after about 10 days, my average score was consistently higher.
Now time to mention a few niggles with the sleep monitor: You need to have the app running on your phone whilst you go to sleep. I use a OnePlus 2, which sometimes experienced reboots or crashes, so the sleep tracking was interrupted. Maybe for future models, the data could be stored on the device and then synced with the app when you are awake or request it. The device will also set you back around £130, which to some is a lot. It can be argued that it would be worth it in the long run, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience of using the ResMed S+ sleep monitor. I found I was making a much more consious effort to increase my score, either by reducing alcohol or caffeine intake or going to bed earlier to maximise the amount of deep sleep I could get. I woke up on several mornings feeling much more refreshed – something I haven’t experienced in a long time. So, as you can imagine, for all of these reasons, I would recommend the ResMed S+ to anyone looking to improve the quality of their sleep – so much so I think the award below, is appropriate.
Thanks ResMed for sending the S+ sleep tracker over – it works!
- Can actually improve sleep
- Easy to setup
- Could display historic results better
- Better elaboration on disruptions would help reduce them.