I’ve gotten my hands on some great tech items this year. Venturing into smart garage door openers, a handful of new Apple goodies, and even leaning into “play” a lot more thanks to Valve’s Steam Deck.
While those items are all well and good, and have been serving me quite well, there’s one item that’s consistently been a part of conversations with people. Regardless of what alternative product you’re using, short of maybe an implant that can do the same thing, I’d recommend this item more.
I’ve already bought two of them, since the wife was sick of me talking about how awesome it was, and she didn’t have one. If either of them were to break tomorrow, I’d have a replacement in the mail, probably with an extended warranty ;)
So what is this mythical Holy Grail item I am referring to?
It’s the Withings Sleep Tracking Mat.
Why am I such a fan? To put it as simply, you set it, and forget it.
I’ve messed with other sleep trackers before. Apps on the phone, stuff integrated into smart devices, and I’ve always ended up in the same place. Missing data.
Tracking things only really works if you have consistent data, and there’s always something that can go wrong. The device doesn’t detect that I’m asleep. I forgot to start / stop the tracking to let it know that I’m asleep. Or my absolute favorite, the device needed charged at bedtime, or died during a sleep cycle.
The Withings Sleep Tracking Mat eliminates all of my gripes with the other devices and software I’ve used. It’s powered and it’s under my mattress, so it’s always ready to do it’s thing.
Like Santa, it knows when I’m sleeping (or attempting to sleep) and it knows when I’m awake.
Everything syncs to the Withings app, and subsequently to Apple Health (worked fine on Android too), without issue.
Sure, it doesn’t catch me if I’m dozing on the sofa in the middle of the day, but that’s a shortcoming I’m okay with. If nothing else, I don’t nap that often!
The data that it tracks has been quite insightful as well. Sleep cycles, disturbances, heart rate, if you’ve been snoring, how long you took to fall asleep and slept. Then it rolls it up into a really nice grade so I can quickly compare it to historical data.
Fun fact, I sleep more during the week than I do on the weekends. While it’s good for my workweek, it’s bad because I’m not consistent in my sleep routine.
Did I mention they give you insights on the data as well? :P
What’s brought this item back to top of mind recently is that I’ve been sick, seemingly with either the flu, RSV, or a viral cocktail somewhere in between.
It’s been really interesting to see the sleep data around being sick. It was all downhill from the night I initially work up with a fever. One night had so many disturbances and so little REM sleep, that I may as well have stayed up all night.
And don’t get me started on being able to pinpoint the moment the NyQuil wore off and I stopped sleeping soundly and started back up with the night-time sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head and fever.
Since the item is so low maintenance, there’s really not much else to talk about. My favorite technical purchase of 2022 is the one that I have to futz with the least, but still gives me an extremely rich, and consistent view into my sleep (or lack there of).