Common sleep problems in older adults like excessive nighttime urination, pain & discomfort, sleep apnea, RLS or restless leg syndrome, RBD or REM sleep behavior disorder, and general insomnia decrease sleep quality and often lead to tossing and turning.
A quality sleep tracker is a great device to monitor the patterns, habits, and stages of quality sleep of you or a senior you love. I started monitoring my sleep when I got a new fitness watch. You may be surprised (like I was) how much time you are actually awake each night.
The Best Sleep Trackers And Monitors For The Elderly
Here are my recommended sleep tracking monitors for older adults based on ease if use and the data given. In the next section, you’ll learn what features of sleep trackers are important as we age if you are shopping for yourself.
1. Vive Health Mach V Fitness and Tracker
The Vive Health Mach V Tracker Watch is a comprehensive activity and sleep tracker that monitors and records key elements of a senior’s health. It accurately measures steps, activity levels… and sleep patterns.
This is a great choice for seniors who want just basic sleep monitoring. It lets you know how much sleep you got during the nights and even breaks it down into light and deep sleep times.
Perhaps more importantly, it records how much time you spent awake tossing and turning at night. All this sleep data is recorded in the accompanying app that is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
In addition to serving as a sleep monitor, it also records your pulse, blood oxygen levels, and even your blood pressure too for monitoring cardiovascular health. All this data too is stored in the app for identifying problems and patterns.
Finally, the watch will last 7 days between charges and quickly recharges in only 2 hours. I like that it has a magnetic charger so older adults don’t have to deal with a plug to charge it. Just set the watch on the charger and it grabs ahold using magnets and begins charging.
The Mach V is water-resistant and can be worn in the shower and when washing your hands, etc. So, no reason to worry about misplacing it because you should only need to take it off for charging. It comes in 2 colors and with a 60-day Satisfaction-Guarantee on this product so you can try it risk-free.
2. Sleepon Go2sleep Tracker
The Go2Sleep Tracker was developed for monitoring sleep apnea but also measures a wide array of sleep data including oxygen levels, heart rate, and overall sleep patterns. The data recorded can then be viewed on a mobile app, tablet, and even Windows and Apple computers. Because it’s stored in the “cloud” you can even view the data remotely.
Not every senior is going to want to wear an athletic looking watch. So, this device is a silicone ring that helps sync with your mobile phone to provide the necessary information – even in near real time.
You should sync the ring with your phone before bed, and the unit will monitor 10 different health metrics while you sleep. Of course, with this style of device, it will need to be manually put on at bedtime to work properly.
The SleepOn Go2Sleep tracker provides the most data of any of the sleep monitors provided here. The company also provides a 30-day window to use the device and decide if it’s for you.
Here’s a quick video that shows you a little more about how to use it:
3. Beautyrest Sleeptracker Monitor
This quality, non-wearable sleep tracking device for seniors is placed between the mattress and the box springs and provides lots of information about your sleep quality. It can even record data for two people in the same bed.
Using what I can only determine is magic, it monitors heart rate, breathing rate, REM sleep, and all stages of sleep activity. Like most of these products, this activity is synced to an app on a mobile phone.
This device works with any kind or brand of mattress – it doesn’t have to be a Beautyrest. The tracker is Alexa-enabled so that you can even integrate it into your smart home. The device also consists of an alarm to wake you up at the optimal time.
The intuitive app collects precise readings to translate them into personalized sleep data. The unit can track the sleep patterns of two sleepers independently. The powerful processor continuously learns sleep patterns and delivers the most up-to-date information for effective sleep coaching.
4. Akasma Fitness Tracker
The Akasma Fitness Tracker is one of the best sleep trackers for seniors and older adults. It is loaded with numerous features including a heart rate monitor, activity tracker, and a watch.
This sleep tracker is designed to be worn around the wrist and is lightweight and comfortable. You can set an alarm to monitor your waking times and SMS and call notifications are shown on the display.
The watch face can be easily plugged into a USB port. But you have to buy the plug separately. The device tracks your awake, deep sleep, light sleep, and REM sleep so that you can better understand the sleep quality and duration.
5. YAMAY Sleep Tracker
The YAMAY Sleep Tracker is another high-quality sleep monitor and tracker for seniors. It helps track the heart rate, sleep patterns, calorie tracking, sedentary reminders, and more.
The unit is IP68-waterproof which means you can get the unit wet without having to worry about any malfunction. It is protected in water 1.5 meters deep for half an hour.
The unit includes a 14-mode activity tracker that helps track your all-day steps, calorie consumption, distance traveled, heart rate, and supports extra 7 sports modes. The tracker will track your sleep patterns and monitor the quality of sleep.
6. Polar M430 Fitness and Sleep Tracker
The Polar M430 is another high-quality sleep tracking device for seniors. It provides valuable sleep and fitness insight to determine the quality and duration of your sleep. The watch-style device easily fits on your wrist and continuously monitors the heart rate while a built-in accelerometer will detect motion to determine when the wearer has fallen asleep.
The unit helps analyze your sleep habits, duration, and quality to help optimize your sleep experience. It also shows sleep interruptions and describes how continuous your sleep was. The tracker will help you get a more complete look at your overall performance. The Polar M430 comes in small, medium, and large sizes with a 2-year warranty.
What Does A Sleep Tracker Do?
A sleep tracker or monitor is a device that monitors and records the sleeping quality, patterns, habits, and stage of sleep. The sleep tracker will look at some of the physical signals of sleep including respiration and heart rate which are closely linked to sleep stages.
Tracking the respiration of an older adult while he/she sleeps will also help detect potential breathing issues like sleep apnea and snoring. A quality sleep tracker will detect any sleep issues in your sleep and take appropriate steps to improve the quality of sleep.
How Do Sleep Trackers Work?
Most sleep monitors have a movement-detecting device called an accelerometer built into the unit. It will assess how much a person is moving while sleeping to analyze sleep quality and duration. Some trackers consist of a microphone to detect noises like snoring while others may contain a thermometer to show how the room temperature affects a person’s sleep.
Wearable vs. Non-Wearable Sleep Monitors
There are wearable and non-wearable sleep monitors. While wearable and non-wearable trackers collect similar data, they may do it using different methods.
A wearable tracker will touch the skin of the sleeper and directly monitor the heart rate, respiration, and movement of the person. These are usually part of an overall fitness tracker watch that seniors can wear on their wrist.
On the other hand, a non-wearable device will rest on or under the mattress to monitor vibrations and gather data. These devices use an algorithm to process sleep data and display the data in an app to help the user access such data.
RELATED: Why Do Elderly People Sleep So Much?
Features to Look For in a Sleep Tracker
Sleep trackers come in different types with different features. The best sleep tracker for your senior will depend on his/her personal preferences, needs, and intended uses. With hundreds of sleep monitors on the market today, choosing the best product may not be easy.
Here are some factors to consider when you are shopping for the best sleep monitor for a senior or elderly person:
A reliable sleep monitor will capture a lot of important data including the heart rate, respiration rate, time awake, snoring, sleep interruptions, time sleeping, and body temperature of the individual.
Some trackers can also monitor the room temperature while sleeping, noise level, light, and humidity in the room. You need to pay close attention to the product features of each product before selecting the best one that matches the needs of your senior.
Sleep analytics will use the data collected by the tracker to determine sleep quality and patterns. They provide detailed charts to show you how your older parent’s sleep has changed over time.
They will also show you how different factors are linked to sleeping patterns and provide a daily sleeping score. Generally this information is presented on a mobile app or cloud-based web app.
Waking from deep sleep can be more difficult compared to waking from light sleep. The smart alarm will let you set the timings to let you wake up at certain times during the night. The device will analyze the data to determine when your senior is sleeping lightly and wake him/her at the right time.
If you want to use the tracker 24 hours for daily activity monitoring, you should consider the battery life of the device. But if you use the device only to track sleep patterns, battery life might not be so important.
Comfort is important if you plan to invest in a wearable sleep tracker for you or an aging parent. Consider the size of the tracker so that it fits right and isn’t uncomfortable on your senior.
I hope this article provided the information you needed on what to look for in a quality sleep tracker for a senior or elderly adult. If you have any further questions, please let me know in the comments below.