> The Beesley Buzz: Could this finally be the solution to a better night's sleep? S+ by ResMed Review: Sleep life to the full

Could this finally be the solution to a better night's sleep? S+ by ResMed Review: Sleep life to the full



Sleep matters

If you have ever gone for a period where sleep has been difficult or disturbed, you will already know how much it can affect you in every part of your waking life. Whilst one or two nights with too little sleep can lead to tiredness, grumpiness and a loss of focus, it doesn't do your overall health much harm.

However, poor quality sleep for longer periods starts to become more serious. Lack of sleep makes it difficult to concentrate and make decisions, can make you start to feel down, and can cause you to fall asleep during the day. You become more likely to make mistakes or have accidents, too.

If it continues, poor sleep can have a much bigger impact on our health, too: "Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy." (NHS Choices). And when this is coupled with grumpiness, poor decision making and lack of concentration and focus, it starts to impact on your relationships and family, too.

My experience

So when my own sleep deteriorated to almost none (a few hours a night at best, unless enhanced with chemical sleeping tablets), we knew something had to change. Sleeping tablets can help, but really only for a short period and they are something I really didn't want to use for long.

Thankfully help was at hand, and we were sent an S+ to review. This new device both monitors your sleep, and then provides tips and advice on how to improve your sleep.


First impressions of the S+

The S+ comes in a very smart box, giving a flavour of the quality and style of the product inside. The unit itself is almost a work of art, a simple cube with a curved white front. We used the stand, to make the unit taller, and this simple loop adds to the elegance of the S+.

The power plug for the S+ has a second USB power output so you can charge your phone or tablet overnight alongside the unit, which is very handy as the S+ talks to your phone throughout the night to record your sleep pattern. Be aware that the S+ plug power output is not suitable for an iPhone or iPad, although this wasn't a problem for us as we simply used the second plug in our room.

First impressions, then - a very stylish, quality-looking product.

Setting up the S+

Once out of the box, setting up the S+ was very simple, and the instructions in the box made it even easier. There were two sets of instructions - the full set (who ever reads them anyway?) and the quick guide. I used the latter, and it was more than simple enough to follow. For the purposes of the review I also looked through the full set, and they were also quick and easy to understand.

The first step is to download the app onto your own iPhone/iPad or Android device (clearly not included with the S+). We actually put it on an iPad and my Android phone and both worked just as well (although you can only use one at a time with the unit, otherwise it won't know which to talk to). Once installed, the app guides you through the next steps. Put the S+ in the bedroom next to the bed, plug it in and connect it via Bluetooth to the phone or tablet, following the instructions on-screen.

During the setup you have to create an account. This was just a few simple questions, and proved invaluable later as once you have an account, you can access the information from any device where you have the app. So we used the iPad to connect to the S+ overnight, and reviewed advice on my phone when we were out and about later in the day.

Setup, then, was really easy - much simpler than many other apps or health monitoring tools I've looked at before.

Using the S+

In normal use, the S+ has a very simple screen. The top half shows the sleep data from the last sleep (overall score, REM recharge score and Deep sleep recharge score); clicking here gives more details about the scores. The bottom is where you can take action. For the first few nights, the focus is on the big button at the bottom of the screen. Hit that 'Sleep' button and four quick questions appear - asking about stress, exercise, alcohol and caffeine. Answer those, hit 'Good Night' and you're off.
 

The S+ has an array of sensors that monitor sleep patterns, breathing, light and sound. They are really sensitive, and just before hitting that final 'Good Night' button it shows your current breathing pattern. Once in the 'sleep' mode, the green light on the S+ unit dims, and it starts monitoring your sleep. It sends the data via Bluetooth to the phone or tablet, which records everything throughout the night.

Three brilliant features that are activated during the sleep mode are designed to help with getting to sleep and staying asleep.

The first is Mind Clear. You know those annoying thoughts that pop into your head whilst you are trying to fall asleep and won't go away? Mind Clear helps deal with those. Hit the button, then either record a voice memo or type a text memo so you no longer have to remember it, then get back to falling asleep. The memo is ready for you in the morning when you wake up.

The second is Relax to Sleep. You can choose from a range of gentle rhythmic sounds that help focus your breathing and calm and relax you. Our favourite is Shoreline (waves gently breaking onto a shore) but there are 9 or so to choose from. The app plays the sound, whilst the S+ monitors your breathing for a couple of minutes and then gently synchronises the sound to your breathing to aid relaxation.

The third is Smart Alarm. During normal sleep there are three phases - Light, Deep and REM. The best and most natural time to wake up is during a phase of Light sleep. You tell the app when you want to be awake by, and a window of 15-30 minutes before that during which you are happy to be woken. If you enter Light sleep during that period before the alarm is due to go off, you are gently woken through the app. Again there are a range of different alarm noises to choose from - a jungle backdrop proving best for me. If the alarm time is reached before you get into another phase of Light sleep, the alarm will go off anyway - so you won't be late for the bus!

For the first few days, the S+ monitors your sleep each night without giving recommendations or tips. This is so it can detect patterns and give overall guidance.

Our verdict on the app and S+ at this point - they're great! Very simple to use, clear instructions. Very few buttons on the app (and none on the S+ itself) making it really easy to follow. The Relax to Sleep has been really useful (and it can be triggered during the day just to help you relax). Unfortunately our kids don't have inbuilt Smart Alarms so tend to wake us for one reason or another before the S+ can do so gently. The Mind Clear has been good, too - a sophisticated notepad by the bed, but much better as it allows voice memos to be recorded, so avoiding the need to grab a pen or type a message (which I am incapable of at night).


Using the S+ after the first few days: Tracking and advice

Once the S+ has recorded a night of sleep, it gives you three scores. The first is you overall sleep score, the second is the REM Sleep Recharge score, and the third is the DEEP Sleep Recharge score. These are calculated based on the duration and quality of the phases of sleep and how they interrelate. They are important because REM sleep helps restore your mind, and Deep sleep helps restore your body - both matter. The overall score gives an indication of the quality of your sleep overall. All three scores are out of 100. Pressing the score on the app then gives more details.

My first night using S+ was surprising - I got 94 overall (98% REM and 100% Deep scores), although I did get 0 out of 5 points for my onset of sleep (it took an age to fall asleep, but then was pretty good quality through the night). That was one of my high points, though, with my overall sleep score moving about a fair bit and hitting 70 one night.
 

After a few days, the S+ has built up a pattern of your sleep and can start offering advice. This can then be accessed at any time from within the app - not just today, but into the future, too. For me, this advice included suggestions such as taking some exercise (for a few days we didn't do our normal walk as the kids were off sick from school) as exercise helps improve sleep; or taking a hot shower 90minutes before going to bed (as your body cools, your sleep drive accelerates).

Each tip is short and simple, but has a link to the S+ website for more information.


Our verdict on the S+

So the S+ is a stylish and elegant unit that sits by your bedside and monitors your sleep. But it does much more than just watch. By building up a pattern of how you sleep, the S+ (through the app) gives tips and advice on how to improve your sleep. I have to admit, I was a little sceptical at first - the S+ unit is just a box with no obvious technology in it! But I have been won over - the beautiful little box is full of hidden tech watching light levels, breathing, movement and temperature then feeding that all through to work out what phase of sleep you are in.

The monitoring has been really interesting - seeing a picture of your sleep phases each night along with scores of how well your physical and mental batteries have recharged becomes a little addictive! The Relax to Sleep function has also helped - simple soothing sea waves playing gently in time with your breathing really does seem to help aid relaxation, and of course the better relaxed you are the easier it is to fall asleep. I've also found the Mind Clear tool useful - saving having to find that pen then remember how to write as you are trying to fall asleep!

Some of the tips have been good, too. Little suggestions that, over time and combined with each other, will lead to better sleep.

At this point, I've only been using the S+ for ten nights. I've looked at my sleep scores each day, and they do jump around a bit - one off-night can make a jump. But (call me a nerd here) when you look at a rolling average over five days (to iron out the one-off blips), my overall sleep score has improved (88% to 92%), and my REM sleep has improved markedly (82% to 91%). My Deep sleep hasn't increased, but is hovering around the 88% mark. So, numerically it does look as though my sleep is better.

And physically - how do I feel my sleep has been? Well, I think it has improved over the past couple of weeks. It's early days, I guess, but I have had longer sleep and fallen asleep more quickly than I used to. The combination of monitoring my sleep (which helps by reassuring it isn't as bad as you might have thought!) with the tips (helping give advice on improving sleep patterns over time) and the Relax to Sleep functionality has helped.

Would I recommend the S+ to you? Here at The Beesley Buzz we only recommend products we would be happy to use. And I happily recommend the S+ to you if you need help improving your sleep, or just want to monitor how well you are doing. The S+ by ResMed is available from Amazonand more information is available from the ResMed website.

Disclosure: We were provided with an S+ by ResMed for the purposes of review. All opinions are our own. On this site I use affiliate links. This means that, at no cost to you, I may receive a small payment if you buy something from a site I link to. I only recommend and link to products, services and companies that I am happy to promote. Some images used in this post are courtesy of ResMed. 

4 comments:

  1. what a great device and it looks cool too, I'd be happy to have that on my bedside table. I used to monitor my sleep patterns through my fit bit and I found that the more you know about your sleep the better you can make it so this device would be ideal. Of course I don't use my fit bit anymore so something like this would be good. I'd love my husband to monitor his sleep pattern because he's worse than me. He also has trouble waking so I love the feature that wakes you at the right time of your sleep pattern.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richard used his fit bit for a while but it wasn't so helpful. This has definitely proved more useful. x

      Delete
  2. The early signs sound good. I pray this really helps you and you can get good sleep and feel refreshed. Mich x

    ReplyDelete

We are currently using word verification due to spam comments. Sorry for the inconvenience.
We love receiving comments and read every one even though we don't always get the chance to reply.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...