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Sleep better by tracking it. A review of the S+ by ResMed sleep tracker

The S+ by ResMed is a sleep tracking device that wirelessly monitors your chest movements to monitor your sleeping throughout the night. No strap or wearable needed.

The device sits on your bedside table and syncs to your phone to log your slumber, providing you with a sleep report upon waking. You can even use the alarm feature to allow it to wake you during a lighter sleep, so you wake better.

Along with your chest movements, it tracks light levels, noise and temperature conditions in your room. This means the device can not only tell you how well you slept, but even point to why, and what may have caused the either good or bad night’s sleep.

Having been recognised for innovation and design in the RedDot and CES awards, we thought it worth giving a whirl, and seeing if you really can get a better night’s sleep by tracking it.

Looks

I don’t know about you, but if something is going to be a permanent feature of my bedside table, it better well look nice. Maybe I’m getting old, but it is a serious requirement.

Thankfully, the S+ by ResMed is a neat looking device, with similar beauty to an Apple product and no way near as big as competing products such as the Withings Aura.

The device even comes with a plug that has space for two usb cables; one for the S+ itself, and another for your phone.

This means it doesn’t take a socket out of use, and allows for your phone to be plugged in throughout the night, which is required of the device. Now that is simple, yet smart, design.

Set-up

The device was super easy to set up. I plugged it in and it was on. I downloaded the app, followed the onscreen instructions (essentially syncing via Bluetooth) and within a minute the reassuring greenlight on the S+ had lit up, letting me know the device was connected.

The app doesn’t take much space on your phone either, and can sync with the iPhone’s Health app. This is good news, since the app is an essential part of the S+, and without it nothing gets logged.

Tracking

I was expecting the device to not work. Sorry to be so pessimistic, but monitoring my chest movements? I sleep all over the shop. I will be on my back, side and front throughout the night, and will wrap the duvet around me until I’m a human sausage roll! So trying to see my chest move is going to be pretty damn tricky.

Now, ResMed haven’t fully explained how they do this tracking, but I’m sure there is some sci-fi stuff going on, because the device didn’t lose track of my sleep all night long. Yes, pessimists of the world, it could all be made up, but I highly doubt it, especially since the sleep report seemed to match how I usually sleep (thanks archived FitBit and Withings data).

Usability

There is a downside though. My bug bear with any tracking device is the requirement for the user to get involved. It is a well-known fact that ‘users’ are utter crap and let down most quantified self apps or devices. And the S+ requires you to open the app and tell it you’re going to sleep each night. Cue weeks on end of forgetting to track your sleep.

This is hardly unique to the S+, but after years of trying such devices I do wonder why it is not possible to have the device always on (and it is always on) and using its fancy software and algorithm to work out when I am awake (talking, probably on my phone, breathing in a certain way perhaps) and when I am asleep. Why do I need to let it know?

It’s a first world problem, I’ll admit. But if we used that as an excuse, iOS 7 would have never happened.

Overall

I love it. Very rarely do I say this about a piece of kit like this. But I do. It is simple, it looks beautiful. It tracks efficiently and not only tells me how well I slept, but what I can do to improve. Without being over the top (after all, notifications are the devil).

Hit the link to find out more about the S+ by ResMed, where you can also find links to purchase one for around £130.

8

The Breakdown


Looks
8
Set-up
9
Tracking
9
Usability
6




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