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Withings were responsible for me saying goodbye to my FitBit forever after they sent me their Steel HR (Sport Edition). I was also astounded at how good the ScanWatch was (it comes with a clinically validated ECG and can detect atrial fibrillation), that I gave it to my father, who claimed it was fantastic and raved, “the ECG function works brilliantly and is able to distinguish multiple ectopic beats from A Fib (unlike the programme used in our local GP practice).” So it’s fair to say I had high expectations for the Withings Sleep Analyzer.
To be honest, something to track sleep wasn’t necessarily top of my list. I already had the Steel HR which seemed to be doing a good job. I was hitting a sleep average of 72 which isn’t bad in my opinion, considering I’ve got two small and feral boys, one of whom likes to invade our bed and make his arrival known to all.
But I was intrigued. And impressed. And that was before I’d even properly tested it out.
The set-up is a lot more simple than I imagined. And smaller. Inside, there’s a mattress sensor, which, unlike my expectations, doesn’t have to be spread out over the whole mattress. Instead, it’s a relatively small strip of padded material in a chic grey, roughly a handspan wide and a foot and a half long. This is placed under the mattress and positioned approximately at chest height. It works whether you’ve got slats (just place a piece of cardboard down first), or a board underneath.
There are no batteries required – you just plug it in and then sync it with your Withings app. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m already hooked up to a Withings device, or if it’s really that fast, but it didn’t take long at all. It takes a couple of minutes to calibrate (apparently there’s a soft whirring sound but I was out the room during this) and then it’s good to go!
The device is so thin, you don’t even notice it’s under your mattress. I wondered how it would do with a potential 2 year old snuggling up to me midway through the night.
My Withings watch already gives me insight into my length of sleep, including depth, number of interruptions and average sleep heart rate. However, I’m now getting data on sleep apnea and snoring too.
According to the Sleep Analyzer, I have:
- Moderate sleep apnea
- Between 3 – 6 minutes of snoring 50% of nights, usually in the lead up to waking
Moderate sleep apnea is defined by Withings as suffering between 15 and 30 episodes where your breathing is reduced or paused a night. So far, mine have mostly been on the higher end of this scale.
When this is detected, you’re encouraged to take the Epworth Sleepiness Test and the STOP-Band Screening Test. Withings make it clear that these aren’t diagnostic tools, but advise seeing your GP if you score within the ‘at risk of sleep apnea’ zone. When I took the test, both results came back as being low risk. So for now, I’m going to continue monitoring the sleep apnea results and see if they continue recording moderate levels.
More about sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is potentially serious with 1 in 5 adults suffering from it. However, it’s often undiagnosed. Symptoms include daytime fatigue even if you’ve had a good 8 hours uninterrupted sleep, high blood pressure or heart problems, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome which is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, complications with medication and surgery, liver problems and partners who are potentially also sleep deprived as those with sleep apnea often snore loudly.
Moving onto snoring… my results showed I snored a little, and not enough to be worried about it. I’m not worried, and my husband calls it more of a ‘loud shnuffle’ than a full on snore. However, it’s good to know – I always thought he was joking when he’d mention my ‘shnuffling’!
Having read up on sleep apnea, it’s piqued my interest. I’m always keen to improve my health where I can and I feel like the Withings Sleep Analyzer will help me understand more about my sleep patterns. I’m curious to see if it can help me determine whether my constant daytime fatigue is from little bedhopping children, or an underlying condition.
I was amazed by the easy and convenient set-up and the fact that’s it’s clinically validated gives it the seal of approval for me.
Purchase the Withings Sleep Analyzer from www.withings.com or via Amazon.