How the NSF and the CEA Are Improving Sleep Trackers

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation


Learn why wearable devices are going to be much more accurate in the future.

If you’ve ever sported a wearable activity tracker, you may have received some questionable feedback on how much sleep you're getting. The fact is, while you've been able to track how far you run via GPS and look up a wealth of nutritional knowledge on your smart phone for years now, it’s taken some time for technology to catch up when it comes to tracking sleep.

But unreliable sleep tracking is no longer going to cut it in this day and age, when one in five Americans owns a wearable device and customers demand accurate and up-to-date information. You wouldn’t want your device to provide feedback that you jogged seven miles when you actually ran three, so why settle for a tracker that misleads you on how much shuteye you’re getting?

To solve this problem and improve devices going forward, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) began teaming up with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) in 2014 to start creating standards for sleep monitoring equipment and help develop future technology. Their goal is to ensure accuracy when it comes to sleep tracking and give consumers a greater understanding of how their sleep habits impact their overall health.

Thanks to the NSF and the CEA, all major wearables players have agreed to adhere to standards that will ensure that their devices accurately measure what they claim in the future. Going forward, expect to see devices with more reliable feedback on how many hours of sleep you’re logging, as well as a breakdown of how you’re spending that time in bed, such as how many hours you log in REM sleep, whether or not you’re tossing and turning, and how long it takes you to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow.

Of course, there’s always room for growth, so what will come next? A tracker that lulls you back to sleep with music every time you stir? Or one that cues your coffee pot to start brewing as soon as you start waking up? It'll be exciting to see what the future holds.