Consumer sleep tracking devices: a critical review

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2015;210:458-60.


Consumer sleep tracking devices are widely advertised as effective means to monitor and manage sleep quality and to provide positive effects on overall heath. However objective evidence supporting these claims is not always readily available. The goal of this study was to perform a comprehensive review of available information on six representative sleep tracking devices: BodyMedia FIT, Fitbit Flex, Jawbone UP, Basis Band, Innovative Sleep Solutions SleepTracker, and Zeo Sleep Manager Pro. The review was conducted along the following dimensions: output metrics, theoretical frameworks, systematic evaluation, and FDA clearance. The review identified a critical lack of basic information about the devices: five out of six devices provided no supporting information on their sensor accuracy and four out of six devices provided no information on their output metrics accuracy. Only three devices were found to have related peer-reviewed articles. However in these articles wake detection accuracy was revealed to be quite low and to vary widely (BodyMedia, 49.9±3.6%; Fitbit, 19.8%; Zeo, 78.9% to 83.5%). No supporting evidence on how well tracking devices can help mitigate sleep loss and manage sleep disturbances in practical life was provided.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy / instrumentation*
  • Consumer Health Information / methods*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Home Care Services
  • Mobile Applications
  • Polysomnography / instrumentation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical
  • Transducers