Digital Sleep Trackers. Are They Worth It?

Digital sleep trackers. Are they worth it?

Modern technology can help improve virtually every aspect of our lives, including exercise habits and physical condition. However, digital tracking devices aren’t limited to monitoring walking, jogging or other daytime exercise and fitness activities. Many people who consistently have trouble sleeping are now using digital sleep trackers. The tracker lets them record the time they fall asleep as well as when and how often they wake up. Furthermore, they can see how much time they actually spend sleeping during the night.

Types of Digital Sleep Trackers and What They Detect

The most common digital sleep trackers are wearable wristbands and smartwatches. Additionally, there are standalone systems that are clipped to a pillow or are placed on or under the mattress. These trackers gather and store information related to the quality, duration and trends of the user’s sleep.

Wearable Trackers

These contain sensors, called accelerometers, that monitor the sleeper’s rest and activity cycles. However, they’re not always entirely accurate. The accelerometer might confuse lack of movement as time spent sleeping. So when a body is lying still in bed for a while, it could be recorded as sleep. Conversely, the tracker might interpret nocturnal tossing and turning as awake time.

In addition to sleep cycles, some wearable trackers also monitor the sleeper’s heart and respiratory activity. This can change during the four different levels of sleep. Most wearable sleep trackers cost between $150 and $250, depending on the number and types of features they include.

 Standalone Sleep Tracking Systems

These types of trackers don’t come into contact with the body. Most contact-free sleep trackers use thin strips of fabric with built-in infrared sensors that detect the sleep/wake cycle. They’re placed either under the mattress or on top of the mattress beneath the bottom sheet. Standalone trackers use ballistocardiography (BCG) to create graphical representations of changes in the sleeper’s heart rate. Both types of trackers connect to your smartphone or tablet to keep records of sleep activity and trends. Some trackers will also interface with Alexa and similar home automation systems.  Non-wearable trackers are less expensive than wearable trackers because they lack the technology to monitor daytime activities. Prices for basic non-wearable trackers start at less than $100.

Additional Digital Sleep Tracker Features

Both wearable and non-wearable sleep trackers monitor each phase of the nightly sleep cycle. There are four stages of sleep in each cycle. Three are Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) phases, which called quiet sleep. There is also one Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage, known as active sleep. The trackers sense and record the amount of time the sleeper spends in each of the four stages:

  • NREM Stage 1 – This is a short, 5 to 10 minute period of transition between being awake and falling asleep.
  • NREM Stage 2 – During this period which lasts about 20 minutes, the body’s temperature drops and the heart rate begins to slow. There are also sudden bursts of brain activity during Stage 2.
  • NREM Stage 3 – This is when the deepest sleep occurs. The muscles relax, blood pressure drops and the breathing rate decreases.
  • REM Sleep – During the REM stage, brain activity increases, the body is relaxed and immobilized, the eyes move rapidly and dreaming occurs.

A full sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes, after which stages 1 through 4 are repeated throughout the night, all of which are captured and recorded. Ideally, healthy adults should complete four or five sleep cycles each night.

Some of the more advanced systems come with listening technology to detect snoring or other breathing abnormalities. These could be help identify indications of sleep apnea or similar sleep disorders. Many tracking systems will also monitor the sleeper’s surroundings. These include the bedroom’s temperature, ambient noise level and air quality. Both wearable trackers and contact-free trackers typically have silent alarms that vibrate to wake the user up.

Do Sleep Trackers Actually Work?

Sleep trackers can gather lots of information about sleeping habits. However, they don’t measure sleep directly. Sometimes they’ll interpret periods of inactivity as being sleep. Futhermore, they’ll consider episodes of restlessness as being awake. But they can still be useful in helping identify specific sleep patterns. Discuss your sleep quality with your doctor, if you’re concern about your sleep.

Sleep trackers can actually hinder some people from getting a good night’s rest. In some instances, trackers actually lower sleep quality by inducing anxiety that can result in insomnia. One study describes a growing number of cases of a new sleep disorder called orthosomnia. This disorder is an unhealthy obsession with the results of a sleep tracking device’s findings. In most cases, orthosomnia ends up impairing, rather than improving, sleep quality.

Many people find sleep trackers to be both entertaining and a useful way to monitor their sleep habits. But they’re not for everyone. If the tracker’s data contradicts the way you actually feel, listen to your body rather than the device. Otherwise, you may find yourself suffering from the effects of orthosomnia.

While a digital sleep tracker can help, nothing is more important than having the right mattress. Stop by your local Sit ‘n Sleep to speak with one of our knowledgeable sleep consultants. They’ll help you find everything you need for a good night’s rest.

Tips For Helping Children Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep

A good starting point is to establish a relaxing nighttime routine for your child. This is especially important for helping very young children fall asleep. The nightly routine might include taking a bath, putting on a favorite pair of pajamas, brushing teeth and possibly reading them a bedtime story after they’re under the covers and snugly tucked in. Most children find a regular routine calming and comforting, since they’re aware of what’s about to happen. It probably won’t take long before the child automatically starts to become sleepy as the nightly routine begins. Below are more tips for helping your child fall asleep.

  • Turn Off Electronic Devices at Least an Hour Before Bedtime. The blue light emitted by a TV, tablet, smartphone and similar devices interfere with the body’s production of melatonin, which is a naturally occurring substance that helps regulate the human body’s sleeping and waking cycles. Most people become naturally sleepy when their melatonin levels are highest. As little as half an hour’s TV or other screen time close to bedtime, however, can be enough to keep your child awake for an extra 2 hours or more. Phones, tablets and video game consoles should be kept out of the child’s bedroom during the night.
  • Create an Environment Conducive to Sleep. Cortisol, like melatonin, is another naturally occurring hormone, but has the opposite effect. Called the “stress hormone”, cortisol helps the body respond to danger or stressful situations. When cortisol levels are high, the body becomes alert, so it’s likely that your child will experience difficulty falling asleep. Be sure their activities before bedtime are calm, the bedroom lights are dim and noise levels are low to help avoid excess cortisol production than can keep your child – and you – awake.
  • Keep the Room Comfortable but Cool. Just as a bedroom where the light is too bright or the noise level is too high affects a child’s ability to fall asleep, so does a room that’s overly warm. Avoid using too many blankets and covers when you tuck him or her in and lower the thermostat setting slightly shortly before bedtime.
  • Be Sure Your Child Eats Properly. Children need to be fed a nutritious and satisfying evening meal, but it needs to be at the right time. Eating too early will leave the child hungry and overly alert when it’s time to go to bed. Eating a meal late in the evening can make the child uncomfortable and unable to fall sleep. Coffee, tea, colas and chocolate all contain caffeine, and should be avoided in late afternoon and evening hours. A good breakfast in the morning will help reset a young body’s clock to the awake cycle for the day.
  • Alleviate Nighttime Fears. Some younger children have a fear of the dark or being alone that makes them reluctant to go to bed or fall asleep.. Praise them for being brave while assuring them that their bedroom is a safe and secure place. Avoid computer games, TV shows and movies that are violent or scary. A favorite stuffed animal may comfort and reassure a child, although too many toys can be a distraction that can keep them from falling asleep. A low level nightlight in the room helps to make some kids fell safer.
  • Be Aware of Possible Sleep Disorders. If your child continues to have problems falling or staying asleep or regularly experiences nightmares, it may be a sleep disorder keeping them awake that needs professional treatment. Consult with the child’s pediatrician if the problem persists for more than a few weeks or if interferes with his or her daily life, including school and social interactions.

Choose the Right Sleep System.

Sleeping alone in a large bed can be lonely and intimidating for some young children. A twin mattress and bedframe, however, might give the child a cozy, more secure “tucked in” feeling that could help them sleep comfortably through the night. Measuring 35” wide x 75” long, a standard twin mattress is a good choice for youngsters who have outgrown a crib, and should accommodate them comfortably into their teenage years.

Choosing the right bedding and accessories, including sheets that are soft and colorful and a pillow that’s comfortable will also make it easier for your child to fall asleep and stay asleep. Just as the right mattress should support the shoulders, back and hips, the right pillow is needed to properly support the child’s head, neck and spine.

A good pillow choice for youngsters 3 to 12 years old is the Pure Care Rise & Shine Memory Foam Kid’s Pillow, which comes with two 1” removable memory foam inserts. Each insert hugs the head and neck while providing spinal support. Adding or removing the memory foam inserts will adjust the levels of height, comfort and support until it feels just right to child. The PureCare Rise & Shine Pillow’s designer cover is washable and has a zippered opening that makes it easy to add or remove the foam layers. The antimicrobial cover has been treated with silver chloride, which helps prevent mold, bacteria and mildew, and will resist allergens, bed bugs and dust mites.

Another great pillow for kids is the PharMeDoc Toddler Pillow. Offering an ideal balance of softness and firmness, the Toddler Pillow is a perfect choice for a crib or a little one’s first bed. Measuring approximately 14” x 19”,  the hypoallergenic Toddler Pillow is filled with 100% hollow fiber polyester, and has a pure cotton cover. It’s machine washable, so there’s no need for a pillow case that could potentially be a suffocation hazard. The small size, light weight and portability make it perfect adult travel pillow.

The PharMeDoc Toddler Pillow is only available online.

Sit ‘n Sleep For All Your Sleeping and Bedroom Needs

Whether your pillow shopping for a small child, teenager or yourself, check our selection of pillows online. Better yet, stop by one of Sit ‘n Sleep’s Mattress Superstores conveniently located throughout Southern California. Speak with one of our knowledgeable sleep consultants, who will be pleased to answer your questions and help you choose the right pillow for your child.

From mattresses and support systems to linens and accessories, you’ll find everything you need at your nearby Sit ‘n Sleep outlet.

Everything You Need to Know About Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses made using memory foam were introduced to the public in 2008. They were developed as a result of complaints from customers that coil and foam systems alone didn’t provide the level of comfort needed for sound, uninterrupted sleep.

Hybrid mattresses combine the support, strength and bounce of conventional innerspring mattresses with the softness and comfort of foam, latex or gel sleep systems. Many sleepers find these combinations to be ideal for consistently getting a good night’s rest and awakening relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the day.

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Sit ‘n Sleep’s Five Best Selling Mattresses Under $1,000

From basic mattresses to technologically advanced sleep systems, Sit ‘n Sleep has quality mattresses to fit every body shape, comfort level preference and budget. Here are five of our best sellers, all of which are available for less than $1,000:

Sealy Good Spirits Firm Mattress. Sealy mattresses have long been known for their quality and durability, and the Good Spirits Queen Size Firm Mattress is no exception. Part of the Sealy Performance™ Collection, the Sealy Good Spirits Firm Mattress brings innovation and engineering together to deliver a restful night’s sleep at an attractive price.

Sealy’s exclusive  Posturepedic Technology™ combines 1” layers of SealySupport™ Firm and Ultra Firm Foam for stable, full body support, as well as added support under the heaviest part of the body where it’s needed most for a good night’s rest. The Good Spirit’s 2” layer of SealyCushion™ Air Foam has been designed as a series of peaks and valleys that allow increased airflow, added softness and greater overall sleeping comfort.

The mattress’s 910  Response Pro barrel-shaped encased coils allow them to move independently, which reduces motion transfer. Combined with the 1/2 ” layer of SealyCool™ Gel Foam, the result is a cooler, more comfortable night’s sleep. Sealy’s DuraFlex™ Edge Support System provides a high-density flexible coil border that makes the Good Spirit a sturdier mattress with a larger useable sleeping area. Top it all off with Sealy’s plush feeling ComfortLoft™ soft knit fabric cover, add a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty and you have a combination for a good night’s rest that’s hard to beat!

King Koil Florence Euro Top Mattress. This best seller brings together a luxurious plush feeling with the levels of comfort and support needed for sleeping well night after night. The King Koil Luxury Florence Euro Top is the only mattress endorsed by the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) for helping to promote proper spinal alignment and a better and healthier night’s sleep

The Florence Euro Top Mattress brings together advanced foam and spring coil technologies for better sleeping. The  8” Contour Elite innerspring system has 858 individually encased coils that conform to the body’s natural contours for less motion transfer and added sleeping comfort. The coils serve to relieve pressure on the sleeper’s body and reduce motion transfer that causes nocturnal tossing and turning and interrupts natural sleep.

The latex lumbar support system in the center of the mattress adds to its comfort and body supporting properties. King Koil’s Excellent Edge™ Foam Encasement provides a firm, sag resistant seating edge, greater stability and a larger usable space for sleeping. Add to that a comfortable, eco-friendly Tencel™ fiber surface made from sustainable wood sources, which is known to aid the body’s natural temperature regulating mechanism, resist microbial bacteria and wick away moisture.

The King Koil Florence Euro Top Mattress is made in the USA and comes with a 10 year non-prorated warranty.

Sealy Redondo Beach Cushion Firm Mattress. One of several mattresses from the Essentials™ Collection of Sealy’s Response™ product line, the Sealy Redondo Beach Cushion Firm Mattress delivers the same high levels of quality, support, comfort and value that Sealy has been providing its customers for more than130 years. As with all Sealy mattresses, the Redondo Beach Cushion Firm mattress is a combination of innovation, engineering and high level of strictly enforced quality assurance standards. The Redondo Beach Cushion Firm Mattress’s features include a 2” layer of SealyCushion™ Air Foam cushioning, a SolidEdge™ reinforced foam border and Sealy’s exclusive innerspring Response Pro HD coil system. The result is a perfect balance of the comfort and support needed to ensure a good night’s sleep.

As with all mattresses in Sealy’s Response line, the Redondo Beach Cushion Firm mattress is a great choice for today’s increasingly popular adjustable base beds. Like all Sealy mattresses, the Redondo Beach Cushion Firm mattress comes with a 10 year limited warranty.

Sertapedic Waitrose Euro Top Mattress. As with every Sertapedic mattress, comfort is included at no extra cost. The plush-feeling Sertapedic Waitrose Euro Top Mattress is filled with features designed to provide sleepers with cushiony comfort and just the right amount of support that’s needed for a good night’s rest.

The Sertapedic Waitrose Euro Top mattress has a comfortable plush feel. It’s recommended for people who like to sleep on their sides or backs and prefer a lot of softness. The following are some of the sleep-enhancing highlights that come with a Sertapedic Waitrose Euro Top mattress:

  • A 1/2 ” layer of Cool Twist® Gel Foam, which is polyurethane foam with tiny bits of gel mixed in that gently cradles the body and helps dissipate heat
  • A 1” layer of Serta Balanced Support Foam that supplements the mattress’s innerspring support system
  • A 2.75” layer of Serta Comfort XD® Foam that provides pressure-relieving comfort while gently cradling and supporting the sleeper’s body
  • The Serta 532 Continuous Support® Innerspring System, which is a series of head to toe coils that provide support along the entire length of the body
  • The Total Edge® Foam Encasement that works in harmony with the Continuous Support Innerspring System to minimize sagging at the mattress’s edges
  • Unlike many mattresses, there’s no need to periodically flip the Waitrose Euro Top to make it more comfortable

Available online only, the Sertapedic Waitrose Euro Top Mattress comes with a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Sealy Cheery Cushion Firm Euro Top Mattress. This best-selling mattress and box spring combination is another quality sleep system from Sealy’s Performance collection. For people who prefer medium or medium soft mattresses, the Sealy Cheery Cushion Firm Euro Top Mattress offers stable, full body support reinforced with Sealy’s exclusive Posturepedic Technology for a sound, comfortable night’s sleep.

Regardless of whether you prefer to sleep on your back, side or stomach, you’ll find the Cheery Cushion Firm Euro Top mattresses to be a great choice. Features include motion isolation for uninterrupted sleep, pressure relief to minimize pain or loss of circulation at the shoulders and hips and easy repositioning for changing sleeping positions during the night. The mattress’s foam padding serves to both cushion the body and supplement the individually wrapped pocketed coil support system.

As with all Sealy mattresses, the Cheery Cushion Firm Euro Top Mattress comes with a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty.

For more information on these or any of Sit ‘n Sleep‘s huge inventory of mattresses, bedframes and sleep accessories, call us at 800-908-0354, contact us online or stop by any our 38 mattress superstores conveniently located throughout Southern California. We’re open seven days a week and our knowledgeable sleep consultants are always on duty to help you select a sleep system that’s best for your unique situation.

All About bedMATCH Technology

How do you buy a mattress? Lie down on a couple of options at the store? Pour over reviews and still feel confused about the best option for you? Pick one based on price? None of these are great options and you’ll likely end up with hip, back, or neck pain from sleeping on the wrong surface.

What if there was another way? Something you could do to make sure that you end up with the right mattress for you so you could sleep better and wake up with less pain?

Give the Sit ‘n Sleep patented bedMATCH technology a try! This free online quiz asks you questions about your age, body size, bed partner, and preferred sleeping position to match you to the perfect bed for you and your partner. Best of all; you don’t need to provide any information, not even an email address, to get your results!

Why is the right mattress important?

You spend up to a third of your day lying on your mattress; not using the correct one could cause pain and even bigger health problems over time. This is because when you fall asleep, your body and muscles are fully relaxed, much more so then when you test out a mattress for a few minutes in the store. If your spine and body aren’t properly aligned during sleep, you’ll be left with aches and pains in the morning when you wake up.

How does it work?

The bedMATCH process is super easy!

  • Take the quiz.  Answer a series of easy questions about yourself (or you and your partner).
  • Get your results. You’ll be given a color recommendation based on the answers to the quiz questions:
    • Red: Extra firm support
    • Blue: Medium firm support
    • Green: Medium plush support
    • Gold: Plush support

All of our mattresses are sorted according to these colors, making it very easy to look for the options that best fit with your recommendations.

  • Come visit us. Now that you have your personalized recommendations, it’s time to visit your local Sit ‘n Sleep showroom to test out our bedMATCH machine. It uses 18 statistical measurements and over 1,000 scientific calculations along with the information you provide, to better help you find the mattress with the best postural support and pressure relief for you. Print out and bring along the results from your quiz for even more accurate suggestions.
  • Pick your mattress. Using your results from the questionnaire, our sleep consultants will work with you to find the ideal mattress for your body type. You can try out the different options to find the one that works.

The details

The great thing about this quiz is that it is completely cost- and obligation-free. In addition, if you don’t like the recommendations we make, you are the final decision maker. While we provide a scientific recommendation based upon your body and sleep habits, your comfort is a personal thing!

You can also ask for a Blended Recommendation if you share a bed with a partner. Do you and your partner struggle with finding a bed that works for both of you? You like a plush and they like extra firm? Maybe you sleep on your stomach and they are a side sleeper? The bedMATCH process will not only give you the ideal selection for your sleep habits, but will also give you a blended recommendation that takes into account both you and your partner’s needs. Just make sure to enter their information into the quiz as well!

For even better results, consider also using our pillowMATCH diagnostic system! The system recommends the best pillow for you based upon a specific calculation using the distance between your head and shoulder, preferred sleeping position, and the recommended mattress.

Next Steps

If you’re ready to wake up well-rested and refreshed, without any aches and pains in your back, hips, and neck, it may be time for a new mattress. Rather than taking a chance on something that may or may not be the right fit for you, try the bedMATCH difference for yourself. Check out our dealer locator to find the retailer closest to you, or call our Customer Support team at 1-800-800-1353 to speak with one of our incredible team members.