[Update: This tool has been unrecommended given several negative responses from commenters who have had difficulty getting the product to work on both Android and iOS, and have had little or no response from the manufacturer. Several readers have commented about alternatives and a review is forthcoming.–OH]
The WakeMate is a wristband that tracks movements in your sleep and when paired with an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry app serves as an intelligent alarm that wakes you at an optimum time in your sleep cycle based on actigraphy, a method of monitoring sleep through tracking movement.
To use the device you wear the wristband, sync it via Bluetooth on your iPhone, Android, or Blackberry phone, open the WakeMate app, and set the alarm to a certain time which provides you with a 20-minute waking window. For example, I set my alarm within the WakeMate app to 6:42 AM, and that means it will wake me between 6:22 AM and 6:42 AM.
The band uses your phone as the alarm that goes off at the predicted optimum time based on movements in your sleep, in effect waking you when you aren’t about to dive into deep sleep but instead are coming out of it.
In addition to waking you at optimum times, the application also provides useful analytics detailing how long you slept, how long it took you to sleep, and how many times you awoke, and uses this information to produce a sleep score on a scale from 1-100 (I average about a 71, and this goes up and down based on the hours of sleep I got).
I bought WakeMate after reading about actigraphy and sleep tracking. I’ve used it since February 8. So far, with few exceptions, I’ve noticed that I wake up feeling more refreshed than I did before using it. Most importantly I like how easy and comfortable it is to use. For example, although this might be obvious, if I sleep any less than 5 hours, my sleep score significantly decreases. And if I sleep over 6 it keeps going up until I get about 10 hours of sleep. Outside of using it as an alarm, the ability to quantify the quality and quantity of sleep has more than likely contributed to the quality of my rest.