Thursday 2 February 2017

S+ Non-Contact Sleep Tracker From ResMed Review

The S+ from ResMed is the world's first non-contact sleep tracker. It studies you while you sleep, monitoring the air temperature, and ambient light and noise levels, as well as recording when you are in dream sleep, light sleep or deep sleep. It'll even soothe you to sleep with background white noise that attunes to your own breathing, and wake you up slowly (from light sleep when possible) if you set a smart alarm time window to get up.

My sleep has always been pretty bad, and even a 'good night's sleep' is often much shorter than average. Although I can survive on less sleep than most, I'd like to sleep more, and sleep better. The S+ can help, and after 8 weeks of use, I'm genuinely finding that I can make some simple small changes that really do improve the quality of my sleep - and I'm feeling better for it.

The S+ is really nicely packaged, and feels great quality. It's an ideal higher priced gift, takes up very little time, effort or space, and looks great on the bedside cabinet. You can remove it from the frame if you wish, but it has to be placed higher than your chest, while facing you. The enclosed plug is brilliant, with a really long cable and 2 USB sockets - for the S+ and your phone.

The S+ has the following functions:
  • Tracks and analyses your sleep patterns giving personalised, daily feedback
  • Synchronises soothing sounds to your pre-sleep breathing, helping you drift off more easily.
  • Will help you create your ideal sleep environment by telling you how light, noise and temperature affect your sleep.
  • With simple text and voice tools for recording tomorrow's to-do list, go to sleep with a calm, uncluttered mind.
  • Choose a time window that suits you and the S+ by ResMed Smart Alarm will wake you during light sleep.

Before Christmas you may have spotted the S+ included in my Men's Gift Guide. You may also have spotted it at the back of my LEGO 12 Days Of Christmas or LEGO advent posts on Instagram and Twitter. Aside from my lamp, by Day 12 there was no room for anything else, but I kept the sleep tracker because I am fascinated by what it tells me.

Click on an image to enlarge
After the very first night I was still a sceptic, but the S+ told me I hadn't had enough deep sleep to rest my body, and I really did feel very stiff and sore that day.  In fact, whenever I wake up feeling physically rough, I have found when I check my results, I fell very short with my deep sleep.

I've also found whenever I'm woken from a dream, the S+ really has recognised I was in dream sleep. It's entirely non-invasive, and actually watches you in a similar way to an X Box Kinect or a thermal scan, noting how you move and breathe while you sleep. It sounds a little creepy, but it really doesn't feel it.

S+ can ignore another body further away, although if you get up to attend to the children or something in the night, it will usually decide to start monitoring your partner instead. You initiate the sleep at night, and if you wish it'll play you background sounds from a range available - don't laugh, it works! The sounds syncronises with your breathing, relaxing you to sleep.

When you wake, remember to wake up your phone and click 'stop tracking' to syncronise before you take your phone away, or it can lose the data for that night.

I've now been using the S+ for 8 weeks. I'm actually beginning to understand my own sleep - and I've been able to make some changes for the better.

1. I am switching everything off earlier. Working until the wee hours is occasionally necessary to hit a deadline, but I'm now asking myself, "Do I really need to work more tonight?"

2. I put my phone and laptop away 20-30 minutes before I try to sleep. I realised I needed this time to settle (usually with a rubbish film on telly). The S+ showed me that turning everything off at once and attempting sleep was counter-productive. I take longer to go to sleep, and I dream far less!

3. I'm drinking less coffee, especially after 3pm. The S+ Advice consistently referred to it, and of course it was right. I do sleep better all night with less caffeine - and I get up to go to the loo less!

4. I'm understanding the benefits of exercise for deep sleep. I usually walk briskly around 30 minutes a day taking my children to school and back. When I don't replace this exercise on days off, I get less deep sleep.

5. I'm enjoying my lie in more. When I do get a rare chance to sleep late, I feel a sense of satisfaction if I see I added extra dream or deep sleep to my night.

6. My partner is drinking less caffeine. Yes, the S+ did tell me on a couple of occasions that maybe my partner's sleep was affecting mine. Clearly we can both use the extra kip.

The information provided by the S+ is brilliant. No more wondering if you were kept awake by the noise from the teenagers, or woken by the binmen, you have proof! You get plenty of data on your phone, and a weekly summary email, plus if you go to your online account you can get even more detail.

Hearing about my poor sleep, Potter's Herbals sent a bottle of their herbal sleep remedy Nodoff Plus Mixture, and I had a spoon of that before sleeping last night. It wasn't the tastiest thing I've ever tried, but it did work, and the S+ shows it. A good long period of dream sleep, only 4 interruptions and my best ever level of deep sleep...

I'm really impressed with the S+ from ResMed. It has made me alter my behaviour, but not in any way that is major or important, and I'm feeling far better for it. I understand my own sleep better, and I probably give the time spend sleeping greater respect, now that I know exactly why I need it to function properly.

The S+ was made by ResMed and had an rrp of £129.95. Sadly no longer available (Feb 2019) but you can find out more about all of their products online on the ResMed website

 I was sent my ResMed S+ for review.

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