ResMed S+ review: An answer to insomniacs’ prayers
But how well can it do that without physically touching you? I was wearing a couple of different Fitbits at various times during my spell with the ResMed, so let’s take a look at how the data compares.
First things first: even a glance at the data will tell you this isn’t a fair comparison. The S+ doesn’t display the data in a binary split between awake and asleep; it purports to tell you when you’re in light sleep, deep sleep and REM sleep. What’s more, because Fitbit is just measuring movement, it doesn’t know when you’re just “playing dead” or genuinely out of it. As a result, trusting Fitbit alone would lead me to believe I had a healthy 7hrs 44mins of sleep. ResMed, on the other hand, thinks I was only truly asleep for 6hrs 12mins. Fitbit thinks I was awake for 33 minutes of the night; ResMed says 2hrs 12mins, for a total sleep score of 86: good, but with room for improvement.
Do you need that much data? For me personally, probably not, but then I’m not an insomniac and usually feel well rested enough. As long as a fitness tracker is consistent with itself, I can use one of these to compare overall trends. But if you view bedtime as the enemy, then this kind of data – and better still, the advice that comes from it – is potentially invaluable. And being told you had good sleep by your fitness tracker may prove pretty hollow if you’re feeling zombie-like the next day.[gallery:6]
In terms of drawbacks, I can only think of a couple. The first is that it only works for one person, so if you share a bed with another (or several others, who am I to judge?) then it’s only tracking one of you.
The second is with the app, and it’s pretty much guaranteed to be fixed as soon as someone reports it: it doesn’t seem to remember the settings you input. Every night I changed my measurements to be in Celsius rather than Fahrenheit, and every morning it would be back to telling me my room’s temperature as if it were 1962 rather than 2017. This isn’t a big deal, and it doesn’t seem to forget the important actual measurements, which would clearly be a deal-breaker.
ResMed S+: Verdict
I really like the ResMed S+, but as someone who usually gets to sleep “infuriatingly quickly” (I’m paraphrasing previous partners here), I can’t guarantee it will help in your case, and at £130, it’s obviously quite an expensive gamble.
I can tell you two things to help you decide; the first is purely anecdotal. My girlfriend finds it difficult to get to sleep and on the first night of use, the sleepy piano noises worked on her faster than it worked on me. This wasn’t the case every night, although we’ve switched it to her side of the bed with an account in her name, and early impressions are positive.[gallery:8]
The second is that the ResMed S+ doesn’t only tackle sleep from a single angle. If you’re a stresspot, then being encouraged to make your mental notes physical could be all the difference. If you struggle to relax, the sleeping noises that guide your breathing can really help. If you sleep better some nights than others, S+ will spot the patterns and tell you why that is. I can’t think of anything else that tackles the tricky problem of sleep with that kind of holistic attitude.
To that end, you can’t really compare what S+ does with your Fitbit or other fitness trackers’ sleep-tracking facility. To these devices, sleep tracking is just another feature, just as a toaster may have a special bagel mode, or a fridge might make ice. For the ResMed S+, sleep is its whole purpose in life, and boy does it show.