What is the best wearable for sleep? As a pilot, sleep is a critical element in my life. The FAA has an entire program dedicated to safety and fatigue. One of the funniest things is that the FAA and the NTSB recognize the that sleep isn’t “normal”.
When we started the search for the best wearable for sleep, we looked at the Jawbone Up, the Fit bit, the Samsung Gear and the Apple watch. After Apple bought the company that found Beddit, we were hopeful that the Apple watch might actually be the all in one solution.
Besides the Beddit App, there is Pillow, Smart Alarm and at least a dozen other apps for the Apple Watch. But do any of them make the Apple Watch the best wearable for sleep. Quite frankly the answer is no.
The “experts” tell us the going to bed at the same time every night is important to good sleep. I don’t know who those experts are but our bodies are just a hair off of the standard sunrise sunset cycle. Some people can be more than an hour off every day.
The military and the airlines use this to their advantage. Knowing that a crew flying west can stay up an extra hour due to our circadian response to the sun, smart airlines run crews on long days going west and short days going east.
Sleep is also a very individual thing. If you have a big presentation, you will find it very hard to go to bed at your “normal” time. One company figured it out. Jawbone. I don’t have any idea why they failed, but I am very sad that none of my Jawbone Up wrist bands still work. Not a one.
The Jawbone would let you go to sleep when you were ready, not some arbitrary time when the clock said do. Better yet you could tell your Jawbone wearable what time you needed to be up. The thing somehow knew your sleep cycles and woke you up from a light sleep 10-45 minutes before the time you told it.
This may not sound like much bit I can tell you that I had the best sleep ever once i learned to trust my Jawbone Up wearable band. The Apple Watch doesn’t even come close. It needs the phone to be nearby and in some cases the phone needs to be in or on the bed with you. Ah, romance at its’ finest.
The beddit app even has another device you can put in bed with you. What I don’t understand is why? Jawbone had perfect technology that worked perfectly and suddenly no one can do it?
Wearables come down to a simple cost benefit. For me and many of my pilot buddies, the jawbone was a game changer. It had by far the best sleep management of any of the wearables we tested.
Fitbit has hinted they will have something similar, very soon. Sadly they have been making that same promise for more than two years. Apple with the beddit app is a big miss as far as I am concerned.
I hope that whoever gets the tech from Jawbone quickly creates an Apple Watch app. I’ll pay $20 for that.
Until then, good luck getting any real sleep.