The S+ by Resmed is a unique sleep tracker that was created to meet the demands for a hands free sleep tracking device. Resmed normally specializes in the manufacture of CPAP machines, so the S+ is their first consumer product. It is designed to measure the different stages of a user’s sleep and record environmental factors. According to Resmed, this device is clinically proven and is based off of the data of nearly 2 million different sleeping tests. I am always on the lookout for sleep tracking devices, so I decided to give the S+ a whirl. Read on to find out my results.
Looks & Functionality
The device is a square shaped box that rests on your night stand. It has the appearance of small speaker almost. To use the S+, you simply aim it at your chest and ensure that it is no less than an arm’s length away from you. There are no straps or bulky wrist sensors. The device measures your vital by low frequency radio waves and will capture environmental details, such as the ambient light, noise, and room temperature.
It takes a little trial and error to get the sensor just right. I sleep on my side and sometimes have a pillow between my arms, which can interfere with the readings. However, I learned that the device can read you eve if your back is turned to it. This worked out much better for me in the long run. Users who sleep on their side may want to take note of this.
To begin a sleep tracking session you have to utilize the mobile app, which unfortunately means you have to keep your smartphone nearby or in the same room as the S+. Since the device has no internals and is just a sensor, any de-syncs will cause a loss of data during the night. I found it was best to keep my phone right next to the S+ or I suffered a lot of de-syncs.
The S+ has the option of playing different sounds to help lull you to sleep, such as white noise, rain, or wind. The device will automatically adjust the noise according to your breathing patterns to help you become more relaxed. It can take some getting used to, especially of you are someone who needs absolute quiet while your drift off to sleep.
The app supports both iOS and Android, which is a welcome change to many sleep trackers, whose trend seems to be iOS first and Android later.
For the initial set up the app will ask you some basic questions, such as age, stress, overall exercise, etc. The app will also ask you about your caffeine/alcohol intake every night before bed. Once the app is all set up, hit start and you’re good to go. Upon waking you have to hit stop. Unfortunately, the sensor is not automatic and has to be set this way each to you start a new sleep cycle. This is minor annoyance but it is forgivable considering how contact free the device is.
The app also has a "mind clear" feature, which is allows you to take a quick recording of your thoughts before you drift off to sleep. Useful for those who have a lot on their minds, I guess.
You can also log things like alcohol and caffeine intake. It will analyze your data over time and deliver personalized sleep strategies. The app has a "mentor” box that will give you a personalized hypothesis of what it thinks may be affecting your sleeping patterns and how you can improve them. In my testing I would often receive messages about drinking less alcohol to improve my sleep score or engaging in exercise during certain times of the day. You are able to rate the advice on a daily basis to help improve the overall experience. I found it to be a useful feature, as I am sometime a little unsure of what to focus on when it comes to improving my sleep.
The app also has all of the standard measuring metrics. You’ll get a sleep score, graphs denoting the different levels of sleep, and a log that shows disruptions and the ambient temperature/light levels of your resting area. The S+ graphs will measure 4 variables: seep, light, REM, and awake time, which is fairly standard when it comes to sleep trackers. It isn’t quite as detailed as something like the Withings Aura, but it isn’t overly simplified either.
The S+ sleep score is computed by adding the length and quality of your rem and deep sleep cycles. The app shows detailed graphs that will give you a better idea about your overall sleep tracking. The app does a good job of helping you understand the various metrics, which is a welcome change of pace from some of the other sleep trackers on the market. For instance, if you look at your sleep score it will explain how it reached such a number, and spit out a detailed pie chart or an hour-by-hour chart that shows the various sleep phases you had during the night.
Lastly, the app allows you to generate a sleep report if you are connected to the Resmed website. The idea behind this is that you can take the data to a physician to analyze of you feel you have a sleep disorder.
Should You Buy The S+?
The Resmed S+ monitor is a well-rounded device for the price. While there are activity trackers that do also track sleep or food intake available at a cheaper price, the S+ is more focused and will give you a better understanding of how to improve your sleep.
The Resmed sleep monitor also has the added benefit of not needing a wristband or bed strap, which is a huge plus. It also does a great job of taking the raw data and putting it together into useful context that is easily understandable. The same can’t be said for many other sleep trackers on the market. Overall, I feel that this is a device that is best suited to someone who is looking to take their sleep tracking to the next level and doesn’t mind paying a little extra for it.