Ah sleep. It’s something that most of us take for granted before we have kids. I remember the uni days where I would stay in bed all day if I wanted. I don’t recall ever really feeling tired or drained, I could sleep whenever I wanted.
In the run up to my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes I noticed the tiredness more. I put it down to being in a new job, a new routine and – most importantly – early starts. I started paying attention to my bedtime routine. I even started sleep tracking, using my Garmin Vivofit (also available in the USA). Recently though, I upgraded to the Apple Watch and was really disappointed to lose out on sleep tracking with it. When I was sent an S+ by ResMed (also available in the USA) I was really excited to get trying it out!
How Does It Look?
Previous sleep trackers that I have used have been based on your movement, which is monitored by having the device attached to you in some way. The S+ is unique in that has a wireless sensor that monitors your movement and breathing from the bedside.
I wasn’t really sure how big the set up would need to be, but it is surprisingly small. It sits nicely on my bedside table, and is not imposing at all. It’s modern design suits our decor.
The S+ is really simple to set up. You simply take it out of the box and plug it in. After that you need to sync it to your phone using the app. The app asks you a number pf questions ranging from your height and weight through to your sleep routine and life style. It’s actually a really good way to get you thinking about your sleeping habits before you’ve even started.
And that’s it. The S+ is now just waiting for you to head to bed for the first time.
What Does It Do?
Getting To Sleep
For the first few nights the S+ monitors your sleep. That way it can get a good idea of what you’re up to, and then make recommendations based on your needs. Before you go to sleep each night it asks you to fill in a short questionnaire, giving information on your stress levels, exercise and alcoholic or caffeinated drinks that day. I already avoid caffeine as it gives me migraines, and I wasn’t surprised to see that Nicola from Mummy To Dex and Rachel from Coffee, Cake, Kids have both started cutting back on caffeine later in the day to help them get to sleep better.
It then offers methods for you to clear your mind. When asked how she ensures she gets a good nights sleep, Hollie from Thrifty Mum says “I write a thorough list for the following day so nothing is preying on my mind”. For me, that reenforces the importance for that feature on the S+ as the prompt to clear your mind is right in front of you.
After you have cleared your mind you can select to drift to sleep. This is where the S+ plays music (that you have pre-selected during set up) to help ease you off to sleep. Laura from Five Little Doves said “I need background noise to fall asleep to, either white noise on my phone or the iPad on low. I can’t sleep in complete silence!” If you are anything like Laura then you will love this feature. I found it really calming, but I personally prefer silence for going to sleep.
The really clever part of all of this, is that after a couple of minutes the S+ has worked out your breathing rate and starts to play the music in time with it. After a while the tempo slows, and eventually turns off.
To make use of the calming nature of it, I chose to use the relax daytime feature. This is where the music is played at any time, but sleep is not tracked. It meant I could take 5 minutes out of my day to just lie down and chill out while Piglet was napping.
As for waking up, it is possible to set an alarm using the S+. You chose a wake up window, anywhere from 15-30 minutes and a time you want to be awake and the S+ wakes you using your chosen sound at an appropriate stage in your sleep cycle. For me, this feature was not really needed as Piglet wakes me as and when he pleases really. But I can really see the benefits if you didn’t have kids!
After all of the getting to sleep side of things, the S+ is predominately there to track your sleep. Each morning it provides you with a sleep score for the previous nights sleep. It shows you how much of the night you were in deep, light or REM sleep, or if you were awake.
I was amazed by how accurate it was. Previous trackers would claim that I was in light sleep when I was sat in Piglet’s room rocking him, but the S+ knew instantly that I was awake.
I was pleasantly surprised at how high my sleep scores were, but the S+ still had recommendations for me to keep improving.
I really like the S+. It is innovative in the fact it does not require a physical connection to you in order to accurately track your sleep. It’s downfall comes in that you have to manually input that you are going to sleep, but I’m sure once you have established a habit from it you wouldn’t even notice that. The battery on your phone can also drain quite rapidly as it collects data from the S+, but they provide a slot for a phone charger on the plug so you can just pop your phone on charge overnight.
If you are starting out with a low sleep score I see so many areas where the S+ could help you! The prompt to clear your mind is fab, as is the relaxation setting.
What Else Can You Do?
Louise from Wee Ohana suggested a deep sleep pillow spray, which I think I would really like. I use an aromatherapy night cream for my face and the smell of it gets me in the mood for a good sleep straight away.
Sarah from Champagne and Petals had a great suggestion that I didn’t even realise was possible “As I’m on my phone so much (like all bloggers) I have changed my iPhone settings to night mode from 8pm, it changes the blue tones of light to yellow. So less brightness which is believed to have effect on sleep. I think it helped.”
Do you have any tips for getting a good nights sleep? I’d love to hear them!
Please note: I was given the S+ for the purposes of a review, however all thoughts and words are my own.
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