Is the Sleeptracker for me?
July 29, 2008 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Does the Sleeptracker watch actually work?

I've searched and found countless links on MeFi to the Sleeptracker watch, as a suggestion for people struggling to get up in the morning. That's all well and good, but I didn't get the impression that anyone had actually, you know, tried it.

So, has anyone tried it? Did it work?

I find there are definitely spots in my morning when I'm already awake, or at least more awake than other times. If I get up during those times, my day goes better than if I wait for my alarm or snooze to go off. If the Sleeptracker is successful at finding those times, I think it could really help me. But is it?
posted by jacquilynne to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
So, has anyone tried it? Did it work?

Yes on both counts. Sometimes it can't find a good time to wake me up in the window of time that it checks, and has to wake me up at the last minute, but around 95% of the time it works exactly as expected. I have the original version by the way, but I've heard the new version is better.

I can get away with not wearing it most of the time if I go to sleep around the same time every night, but if my sleep schedule is at all disrupted it saves me from being groggy for a large part of my morning. The only thing that keeps me from recommending it to everyone is the price, but I can definitely recommend it on the quality aspect.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:56 AM on July 29, 2008

It didn't work for me at all. All it tracks is if you move your arm around a bit, so if you are sound asleep and not twitching it isn't going to do a thing.
posted by zeoslap at 10:56 AM on July 29, 2008

I'd never heard of this gadget before this question; looks interesting.

Amazon has 28 user reviews, and the makers have a 30-day money back satisfaction guarantee.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 11:01 AM on July 29, 2008

I have tried it and yes it does work. I stopped using it after a couple of months. I don't really have a good reason why. When I bought it about 3 years ago, I wasn't that great with my money and I tended to buy neat things and stop using them even if they worked.

It was neat to see my sleep cycles and I agree with the above that sometimes it was hard for me to find a good wake up time window. However, I had the opposite experience; I always woke up at the earlier time.
posted by spec80 at 11:07 AM on July 29, 2008

I have been intrigued by this watch since I first learned about it, but haven't tried it out. Would those of you who tried the watch and then stopped using it after a few months say that the watch helped train you to identify your own wakefulness so you don't need it anymore? that in itself would be a selling point to me.
posted by jrishel at 11:17 AM on July 29, 2008

I think it's snake oil :) The thing I use now that does work great though is a light that comes on slowly, ramps up brightness over about 30mins, that thing is great and I always manage to wake up very easily sometime during the lighting up phase (after which the alarm goes off). I get up early so it's always dark out though, wouldn't do much good if your room is normally bathed in light when you get up.

Another great alarm was one my friend had that started with a click, then a min later click click etc until it was clicking constantly, I'd wake up on the first click after a week or so nicely refreshed.
posted by zeoslap at 11:42 AM on July 29, 2008

I didn't find the original version to be very reliable. I typically sleep with my arm under my pillow, and that squelched the alarm so much that it was totally inaudible. It wasn't very loud to start with.

That said, supposedly the newer version has a louder alarm (and maybe vibrates?), so it's worth a try.
posted by xil at 11:43 AM on July 29, 2008

I posted a question about this watch in metatalk several weeks ago, and a supernice mefi friend was nice enough to send hers to me! (CRAP I still need to send her her present!)

It works just fine, for me. I'm a light sleeper anyway, but it woke me up no problem. I don't really have a hard time waking up regardless though---I'm usually up 30 minutes before my alarm.

My opinion is that it DOES work, but I'd still leave my main alarm turned on in case it didn't.
posted by TomMelee at 12:04 PM on July 29, 2008

Works great for me....I often wake up a bit before it goes off. I have lousy sleep hygenie (going to bed @ the same hour, etc) - and in fact I'm 8 hours out of my main time zone and using it.
posted by filmgeek at 1:04 PM on July 29, 2008

I'm going to give it a try. If I it doesn't work, I guess I can return it minus a shipping fee.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:12 PM on July 29, 2008

zeoslap wrote "The thing I use now that does work great though is a light that comes on slowly, ramps up brightness over about 30mins"

This is actually how you should be waking up. You've got millions of years of evolution that shaped your brain and internal clock to wake you when the light becomes brighter in the morning. If you have trouble waking up, try something simple like this light, or something even simpler like opening the blinds (or using a non-opaque curtain) in your bedroom.

The latter applies only if your bedroom isn't under the full glare of a sodium arc light streetlamp, of course, in which case get the light and black-out curtains.
posted by caution live frogs at 2:11 PM on July 29, 2008

It gets light out hours before I want to get up in the summer and hours after I want to get up in the winter. No longer being an actual hunter-gatherer, I'd really prefer not to live my life around the scheduling vagaries of something that changes by a minute every day of the year. It might be evolutionarily appropriate, but it's simply not practical.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:16 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

The main advantage I found with it is that I can use the vibrate alarm and thus not wake up anybody else - this way I can set the alarm to any crazy time I want to.
posted by meijusa at 3:38 AM on August 9, 2008

I bought it, it came, I tried it, I sent it back.

It really wasn't helping with my particular problem which is forcing myself to want to get out of bed at those awake moments instead of wanting to go back to sleep for 10 more minutes.

Plus, as zeoslap noted, this thing isn't exactly into subtleties. It wasn't detecting my 'almost awake' moments, it was detecting the moments when I was completely awake -- when I either rolled completely over, or lifted up my arm specifically to check the time.

The sleep pattern checker thingy was sort of interesting, but not $200 worth of interesting. Especially not since it only stores a single day's worth of data between uploads. If I could wear it for a week and then get around to uploading, that might have been worth keeping, but if I had to hook it up to my computer everyday, eh.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:33 AM on August 27, 2008

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